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Hellström, P. (2019). Trees of Knowledge: Science and the Shape of Genealogy. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trees of Knowledge: Science and the Shape of Genealogy
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates early employments of family trees in the modern sciences, in order to historicise their iconic status and now established uses, notably in evolutionary biology and linguistics. Moving beyond disciplinary accounts to consider the wider cultural background, it examines how early uses within the sciences transformed family trees as a format of visual representation, as well as the meanings invested in them.

Historical writing about trees in the modern sciences is heavily tilted towards evolutionary biology, especially the iconic diagrams associated with Darwinism. Trees of Knowledge shifts the focus to France in the wake of the Revolution, when family trees were first put to use in a number of disparate academic fields. Through three case studies drawn from across the disciplines, it investigates the simultaneous appearance of trees in natural history, language studies, and music theory. Augustin Augier’s tree of plant families, Félix Gallet’s family tree of dead and living languages, and Henri Montan Berton’s family tree of chords served diverse ends, yet all exploited the familiar shape of genealogy.

While outlining how genealogical trees once constituted a more general resource in scholarly knowledge production—employed primarily as pedagogical tools—this study argues that family trees entered the modern sciences independently of the evolutionary theories they were later made to illustrate. The trees from post-revolutionary France occasionally charted development over time, yet more often they served to visualise organic hierarchy and perfect order. In bringing this neglected history to light, Trees of Knowledge provides not only a rich account of the rise of tree thinking in the modern sciences, but also a pragmatic methodology for approaching the dynamic interplay of metaphor, visual representation, and knowledge production in the history of science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 339
Series
Uppsala Studies in History of Ideas, ISSN 1653-5197 ; 51
Keywords
cultural history of science, science and metaphor, science and visual representation, family trees, tree diagrams, information management, classification, natural history, philology, music theory, genealogy, evolution, secularisation, Enlightenment, French Revolution, Augustin Augier (1758–1825), Félix Gallet (1773–c. 1840/47), Henri Montan Berton (1767–1844).
National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-390260 (URN)978-91-513-0711-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-28, the Humanities Theatre, Thunbergsvägen 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-08-11 Last updated: 2019-09-17
Hellström, N. P., André, G. & Philippe, M. (2017). Augustin Augier's Botanical Tree: Transcripts and translations of two unknown sources. Huntia, 16(1), 17-38
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Augustin Augier's Botanical Tree: Transcripts and translations of two unknown sources
2017 (English)In: Huntia, ISSN 0073-4071, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 17-38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Augustin Augier's "Arbre botanique" (1801) is one of the earliest known family tree diagrams to represent the natural system. As such it is frequently cited in the literature on historical systematics, where it is generally framed as a precursor to later, evolutionary trees. While ignorance concerning the author's identity long complicated efforts at interpreting and placing his tree into context, in the course of our recent establishment of Augier's biography, we discovered two previously unknown writings in which Augier discussed the Botanical tree: a letter he sent to the National Institute in Paris in 1801 and a serialized article he published in Valence in 1809. These texts shed considerable light on how its author intended the Botanical Tree to be used and help to clarify how genealogical metaphors could serve as classificatory resources before the rise of evolutionary theory — and from within an explicitly religious worldview.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pittsburgh: Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, 2017
Keywords
History of botany, History of science, History of taxonomy, History of natural classification, Augustin Augier, Augustin Augier de Favas, Tree of life, Tree of nature, Phylogenetic tree
National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323898 (URN)
Available from: 2017-06-10 Created: 2017-06-10 Last updated: 2017-06-12Bibliographically approved
Hellström, P., André, G. & Philippe, M. (2017). Life and works of Augustin Augier de Favas (1725–1825), author of 'Arbre botanique' (1801). Archives of Natural History, 44(1), 43-62
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life and works of Augustin Augier de Favas (1725–1825), author of 'Arbre botanique' (1801)
2017 (English)In: Archives of Natural History, ISSN 0260-9541, E-ISSN 1755-6260, Vol. 44, no 1, p. 43-62Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Augustin Augier's “Arbre botanique” (“botanical tree”) (1801), a diagram representing the natural order of plants in the shape of a family tree, is today a standard reference in histories of systematics and phylogenetic trees. The previously unidentified author was a nobleman from Saint-Tropez, a schoolteacher and a priest in the Société de l'Oratoire de Jésus et de Marie immaculée. His biography and two previously unnoticed publications, as well as his correspondence with the Institut national in Paris, are discussed. Knowledge of Augier's identity, his life and works sheds new light upon his taxonomic theories, and helps us to understand his “Arbre botanique”. Long before the tree was made into an icon of evolutionism, Augier used it to demonstrate the beauty and perfect order of divine creation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edinburgh University Press, 2017
National Category
History History of Ideas
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292705 (URN)10.3366/anh.2017.0413 (DOI)000398755000004 ()
Available from: 2016-05-06 Created: 2016-05-06 Last updated: 2017-05-18Bibliographically approved
Hellström, P. (2016). Not on the map: Cartographic omission from New England to Palestine. The Guardian, 0822
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Not on the map: Cartographic omission from New England to Palestine
2016 (English)In: The Guardian, ISSN 0261-3077, Vol. 0822Article in journal, News item (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [en]

An emotional debate has erupted over the absence of Palestine on Google Maps. But why does it matter whether Palestinians are on the map? Historian of science Petter Hellström looks at maps of the colonial era for clues.

Keywords
History of cartography, John Brian Harley, New England, Palestine, Israel
National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-301486 (URN)
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-23 Last updated: 2017-04-03
Hellström, P. (2016). Review of Nick Hopwood, Haeckel’s embryos. Images, evolution, and fraud, Chicago University Press, 2015 [Review]. Archives of Natural History, 43(2), 367-368
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Review of Nick Hopwood, Haeckel’s embryos. Images, evolution, and fraud, Chicago University Press, 2015
2016 (English)In: Archives of Natural History, ISSN 0260-9541, E-ISSN 1755-6260, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 367-368Article, book review (Other academic) Published
National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292706 (URN)
Available from: 2016-05-06 Created: 2016-05-06 Last updated: 2017-11-30
Hellström, P. (2016). The great chain of ideas: The past and future of the history of ideas, or why we should not return to Lovejoy. Lychnos, 179-188
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The great chain of ideas: The past and future of the history of ideas, or why we should not return to Lovejoy
2016 (English)In: Lychnos, ISSN 0076-1648, p. 179-188Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: , 2016
Keywords
Arthur Lovejoy, history of ideas
National Category
History and Archaeology
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-315744 (URN)
Available from: 2017-02-20 Created: 2017-02-20 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Hellström, P. (2016). The tree of life: With Darwin from Genesis to genomics. The Guardian, 0419
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The tree of life: With Darwin from Genesis to genomics
2016 (English)In: The Guardian, ISSN 0261-3077, Vol. 0419Article in journal, News item (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [en]

A new “tree of life” has prompted a re-evaluation of our place in evolution. But why are these diagrams named after the tree in the biblical Garden of Eden?

National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292704 (URN)
Available from: 2016-05-06 Created: 2016-05-06 Last updated: 2017-01-30
Fernstål, L., Hellström, P., Minnbergh, M. & Svanberg, F. (2015). Inledning: Om Sverige i tiden. In: Lotta Fernstål, Petter Hellström, Magnus Minnbergh & Fredrik Svanberg (Ed.), Sverige i tiden: Historier om ett levande land (pp. 9-15). Stockholm: Historiska museets förlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inledning: Om Sverige i tiden
2015 (Swedish)In: Sverige i tiden: Historier om ett levande land / [ed] Lotta Fernstål, Petter Hellström, Magnus Minnbergh & Fredrik Svanberg, Stockholm: Historiska museets förlag, 2015, p. 9-15Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Historiska museets förlag, 2015
Keywords
Historiebruk, historieskrivning, nationalism.
National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260592 (URN)978-91-89176-59-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-08-21 Created: 2015-08-21 Last updated: 2017-01-30Bibliographically approved
Hellström, P. (2015). Karl XII: Krigarkungens liv efter döden. In: Lotta Fernstål, Petter Hellström, Magnus Minnbergh & Fredrik Svanberg (Ed.), Sverige i tiden: Historier om ett levande land (pp. 17-31). Stockholm: Historiska museets förlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Karl XII: Krigarkungens liv efter döden
2015 (Swedish)In: Sverige i tiden: Historier om ett levande land / [ed] Lotta Fernstål, Petter Hellström, Magnus Minnbergh & Fredrik Svanberg, Stockholm: Historiska museets förlag, 2015, p. 17-31Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Historiska museets förlag, 2015
Keywords
Historiebruk, historieskrivning, nationalism.
National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260590 (URN)978-91-89176-59-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-08-21 Created: 2015-08-21 Last updated: 2017-01-30Bibliographically approved
Holmqvist, B., Hellström, P. & Levin, P. (Eds.). (2015). Lychnos: Årsbok för idé- och lärdomshistoria. Uppsala: Lärdomshistoriska samfundet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lychnos: Årsbok för idé- och lärdomshistoria
2015 (Swedish)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Lärdomshistoriska samfundet, 2015. p. 295
National Category
History
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292703 (URN)9789185286652 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-05-06 Created: 2016-05-06 Last updated: 2017-01-30
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-3212-6965

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