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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  History of Science & Nature

Science on the Roof of the World Empire and the Remaking of the Himalaya

By: Lachlan Fleetwood(Author)
294 pages
Science on the Roof of the World
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  • Science on the Roof of the World ISBN: 9781009123112 Hardback May 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £74.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

When, how, and why did the Himalayas become the highest mountain in the world? In 1800, Chimborazo in South America was believed to be the world's highest mountain, only succeeded by Mount Everest in 1856. Science on the Roof of the World tells the story of this shift, and the scientific, imaginative, and political remaking needed to fit the Himalayas into a new global scientific and environmental order. Lachlan Fleetwood traces untold stories of scientific measurement and collecting, indigenous labour and expertise, and frontier-making to provide the first comprehensive account of the East India Company's imperial entanglements with the Himalayas. To make the Himalayas knowable and globally comparable, he demonstrates that it was necessary to erase both dependence on indigenous networks and scientific uncertainties, offering an innovative way of understanding science's global history, and showing how geographical features like mountains can serve as scales for new histories of empire.


1. Measuring Mountains
2. Unstable Instruments
3. Suffering Bodies
4. Frozen Relics
5. Higher Gardens
6. Vertical Limits

Customer Reviews


Lachlan Fleetwood is a research fellow at University College Dublin.

By: Lachlan Fleetwood(Author)
294 pages
Media reviews

"This book outlines the ways in which the imaginative geography of the Himalayas was constituted by western scientific knowledge, indigenous cosmologies and labour in the nineteenth century contributing to a global science of mountains. Here East India Company surveyors and naturalists jostle with Bhotiya and Tatar mountain guides, their multiple narratives framed through an interdisciplinary lens of botany, biogeography, glaciology, and anthropology. This is environmental history at its best."
– Vinita Damodaran, University of Sussex

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