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A Survey of the History of Science in New Zealand 1769–1992



This article provides an overview of the history of science in New Zealand over the period 1769–1992. General histories of New Zealand often overlook science and scientists and their contribution to shaping the country. This broad overview of New Zealand’s science history is not so much a re-interpretation of events through a history of science lens, but rather an introduction to the contribution of science to New Zealand’s history, and follows a narrative showing the progression of science from Enlightenment and colonial science through the emergence of state science and the recent commercialisation of science. Along the way some key scientific institutions, including the New Zealand Institute and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, are introduced, along with some of the individuals who have made a contribution to science in New Zealand and its history in general.