This book has its origins in my time at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College, London, and I am very grateful to David Edgerton for the guidance he gave me when I first began developing my ideas, and for the many times he has cast a critical eye over my arguments. I am also indebted to former colleagues at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford – Sloan Mahone, Mark Harrison, Margaret Jones, Karen Browne, John Manton and Maggie Pelling. I thank them for their encouragement, advice and friendship. In the writing of this book, I have been fortunate to have the benefit of incisive feedback from David Clayton and Henrice Altink at the University of York, and my gratitude also goes to Richard Bessel, Stuart Carroll, Bill Sheils and Catriona Kennedy for conversations that helped me clarify my thoughts. In addition, I want to thank several cohorts of students who have taken my Special Subject at York; their thoughts on the histories of development we studied gave me much inspiration and enormous pleasure.
Versions of some of the chapters of this book have been presented at conferences and seminars in the Europe, the USA and UK, and the discussions that followed were helpful and stimulating. I would like to thank in particular Michael Worboys, Jonathan Harwood, David Killingray, Prakash Kumar, Desiree Schauz, Robert Bud, Mary Chamberlain, Viviane Quirke, Sally Horrocks, Paul Mosley, Fern Elsdon-Baker, Jon Agar, Brian Balmer, Jeff Hughes, Casper Andersen, Graeme Gooday, Wenzel Geissler, Rita Pemberton and Debbie McCollin.
This book would have been impossible without a fellowship from the Wellcome Trust that enabled me to carry out my research and travel to Trinidad, Barbados and the USA, and I would like to thank the Trust for its support. The success of my research trips was the result of the help and expert advice I received from the archivists at UWE, St Augustine, Trinidad and the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago, the Barbados National Archives and the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland, plus of course, the team at the National Archives in London. I am extremely grateful to all of them.
I would like to thank my parents, Tony Clarke and Francoise D’arcy, and Colette and David Holloway, for various kinds of help that allowed me to pursue a new career in history. Finally, I thank Tim, whose help and encouragement have been so boundless.