Vol. 9 (2020): A Question of Scale: Making Meteorological Knowledge and Nation in Imperial Asia

Excessive monsoon rainfall captured by NASA Earth Observatory across South and East Asia in July 2020

This special issue of History of Meteorology explores processes of making, communicating, and embedding modern meteorological knowledge in late nineteenth and early twentieth century imperial Asia. Its focus is on the institutionalisation of meteorology in key nation-building activities such as developing agricultural services, synoptic mapping to predict storms, and participation in scientific organisations and initiatives. Collectively, the essays explore the intersection of local, regional, and international scales and processes in generating new forms of state-sponsored meteorological practices and institutions, though complex multi-layered networks involving different actors and modes of information flow across multiple scales. In so doing, they reveal the dynamism and mobility of people, objects, inscriptions, information, careers, ways of knowing, and so on across space and place. They build from the paradigm that mastering the means of understanding and—significantly—making use of the weather in Asia involved working with manifold modes of meteorological knowledge drawn from multiple origins.

Published: 2020-11-08