This book uncovers new aspects of the contributions of Portuguese, Dutch, Dane, English and French East India Company officials and European missionaries to intellectual history in the fields of botany, chemistry, medicine, earth and space science within the specific geographical-historical locality of the Tamil coast in the early Modern Age. It discusses the relationships forged to underpin progress in scientific knowledge and scholarship, and also examines he varied manifestations of ideas, practices and forms of intellectual life developed and shared through association with the learned elite. With the flow of novel ideas, instruments and practices, spectacular achievements were made in science, and this knowledge was redistributed through the printing press. In the process, scientific data at the theoretical and experimental levels, both in Europe and on the Tamil coast, also got transmuted, assimilated and received. Given these, this book that science alone aided education and enabled research institutions to usher in modernity.
Jeyaseela Stephen is Directeur, Institut pour études Indo-Européennes.