Circuits of human and cultural capital
Medicine and the knowledge economy in Asia
in Human capital and empire
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The chapter explores the growing participation of Scots, Irish and Welsh in the East India Company’s medical sector. Despite access to similar educational opportunities either in Dublin, Edinburgh and London, Scots significantly outnumbered the other two national groups, both in overall and in per capita terms. With around 20 percent of all such posts throughout the eighteenth century, the acquisition by Scots of medical posts expanded to between 35 percent and 45 percent in the 1790s to 1810s. The chapter explores how patterns of professional mobility and phases of education in the provinces, in London and in Asia enabled surgeons to enhance their human capital. They sought to ‘realise’ this form of wealth through publication strategies and the maintenance of links with institutions such as Trinity College Dublin, Marischal College, Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh. In this way, imperial service in Asia shaped the timing and tone of medical enlightenment in the metropolitan provinces.

Human capital and empire

Scotland, Ireland, Wales and British imperialism in Asia, c.1690–c.1820

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