Skip to main content

Open Access Exotic Poisons and Resurrected Donkeys: Charles Waterton and Physiological Experiments with Curare in Early Nineteenth-Century England

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF 2,093.9 kb)
 
This paper describes investigations into the South American arrow poison curare in the early nineteenth century. The experimental work of the naturalist and explorer Charles Waterton furnishes a powerful example of how colonial issues, racist stereotypes, experimental practices and exchange of knowledge converged in the scientific investigation of curare. Waterton's attempt to save poisoned laboratory animals through artificial respiration, and his struggle to find medical applications of curare, illustrate the gradual transformation of this poison from a tool of the devil into a substance which may save life; a transformation that accompanied the journey of curare from the rain forest to European laboratories.

Italian
Questo articolo si propone di analizzare l'indagine scientifica attorno al curaro agli albori del diciannovesimo secolo. Gli esperimenti del naturalista Charles Waterton offrono un esempio particolarmente illustrativo di come la ricerca sul curaro abbia incorporato, nel corso dei secoli, temi variegati legati all'impresa coloniale in America Meridionale, a stereotipi razziali e a intensi scambi di conoscenza e di materiali tra scienziati europei. I tentativi di Waterton di utilizzare la respirazione artificiale per salvare la vita ad animali da laboratorio avvelenati con il curaro, uniti alle sue ricerche su possibili applicazioni mediche di questo veleno, illustrano la progressiva trasformazione da sostanza ritenuta diabolica a possibile rimedio contro gravi malattie.

8 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2017

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more