Introduction
in Science and society in southern Africa
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book begins with a conference on the topic of Science and Society convened at Sussex University in September 1998. It provides the discussion of sugar cane production in Mauritius and addresses the intricate debates around metropolitan and colonial science. The book illustrates how the processes of census enumeration and measurement which were so central an aspect of the nineteenth-century British imperial ideology of progress and enlightenment were often greeted with suspicion by white farmers. It argues for the salience of statistics and the 'mania for measurement' in the apartheid state's attempt to manage and control South Africa's various population 'groups'. The book suggests that the inordinate faith placed in dog tracking reflected the limits of police powers over rural African populations.

Editor: Saul Dubow

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