Geneva, Natural History and the Art of Observing

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According to the naturalist Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), an “art of observing” was sorely needed to stimulate further progress in natural history. Although he never published on the subject, Bonnet proposed a prize competition on the “art of observing” to Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (the Dutch Society of Sciences) in Haarlem of which he was a member. Jean Senebier, a pastor and librarian who later became a skilled scientific observer in his own right, took part in this competition (1768) with an essay on the art of observing that influenced, embodied and codified the advanced scientific observational practices of the Genevan naturalists in the eighteenth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Natural History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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