Daily Archives: November 17, 2020

Hurricane Iota slams into Central America

CBC News: The National

Published on Nov 17, 2020

Hurricane Iota is slamming Central America, just days after Hurricane Eta came crashing through as a Category 4 storm. Iota made landfall with winds as high as 250 kilometres per hour as it hit Nicaragua.

Watch The National live on YouTube Sunday-Friday at 9 p.m. ET

Aburi Botanic Gardens

About the Aburi Botanic Gardens

Aburi Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden in Aburi in Eastern region of South Ghana. The garden occupies an area of 64.8 hectares. It was opened in March, 1890 and was founded by Governor William Brandford-Griffith and Dr John Farrell Easmon, a Sierra Leonean medical doctor. Wikipedia

Aburi Botanic Garden was officially opened in March 1890. The Garden has had many roles over the years including plant introduction and teaching scientific methods of agriculture but today is one of the world’s 1,800 botanic gardens leading the fight to save plant diversity through, research, conservation of medicinal plants, plant multiplication, horticulture training and environmental education.

Prior to the establishment of the garden, the Gold Coast Government had built a sanatorium at the site for convalescing Government officials in 1875. In 1899, during the Governorship of His Excellency Sir W. Brandford-Griffith K.G.M.G., a few hectares of land was cleared in vicinity of the sanatorium to begin the Botanic Deparment.

The clearing was done under the supervision of a German serving the Basel Mission. In 1890 Mr. William Crowther, a student from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew arrived in the Gold Coast(now Ghana) as the first curator of the botanic garden.

Main Address:
Aburi Botanic Gardens
PO Box 23, ABURI, Akwiapim, Ghana.
P.O.Box M169 Accra Ghana

Telephone: 233 2176 4337
Fax: 233 2177 7821
Primary Email:

Staff Details

Director’s Name: George Owusu-Afriyie
Curator’s Name: vacant
Plant Records Officer’s Name: Albert Prempeh

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: State: Yes
    Status: Educational: Yes
  • Date founded: 1890
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 52 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 12 Hectares
  • Total Area: 64 Hectares
    Latitude: 5.8469
    Longitude: -0.1755
    Altitude: 460.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

Plant Collections

Conservation Programmes

Research Programmes

Education Programmes

Related articles

Using Traditional Festival Days for Environmental Education

July 1998

Water Twice Daily – Conserving and Cultivating Medicinal Plants in Ghana

June 2002

Development of Medicinal Plant Gardens in Aburi, Ghana

December 1999

Related events

Ghana: 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations

6 March 2007

Science and Colonial Expansion: The Role of the British Royal Botanic Garden: Brockway, Ms. Lucile H., Brockway, Lucile H.

This widely acclaimed book analyzes the political effects of scientific research as exemplified by one field, economic botany, during one epoch, the nineteenth century, when Great Britain was the world’s most powerful nation. Lucile Brockway examines how the British botanic garden network developed and transferred economically important plants to different parts of the world to promote the prosperity of the Empire.

In this classic work, available once again after many years out of print, Brockway examines in detail three cases in which British scientists transferred important crop plants―cinchona (a source of quinine), rubber and sisal―to new continents. Weaving together botanical, historical, economic, political, and ethnographic findings, the author illuminates the remarkable social role of botany and the entwined relation between science and politics in an imperial era.

About the Author

The late Lucile Brockway received her doctoral degree in anthropology from the City University of New York.

  • Paperback : 215 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0300091435
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0300091434
  • Dimensions : 9.18 x 6.06 x 0.53 inches
  • Publisher : Yale University Press (August 1, 2002)

Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World): Londa Schiebinger, Claudia Swan

In the early modern world, botany was big science and big business, critical to Europe’s national and trade ambitions. Tracing the dynamic relationships among plants, peoples, states, and economies over the course of three centuries, this collection of essays offers a lively challenge to a historiography that has emphasized the rise of modern botany as a story of taxonomies and “pure” systems of classification. Charting a new map of botany along colonial coordinates, reaching from Europe to the New World, India, Asia, and other points on the globe, Colonial Botany explores how the study, naming, cultivation, and marketing of rare and beautiful plants resulted from and shaped European voyages, conquests, global trade, and scientific exploration.

From the earliest voyages of discovery, naturalists sought profitable plants for king and country, personal and corporate gain. Costly spices and valuable medicinal plants such as nutmeg, tobacco, sugar, Peruvian bark, peppers, cloves, cinnamon, and tea ranked prominently among the motivations for European voyages of discovery. At the same time, colonial profits depended largely on natural historical exploration and the precise identification and effective cultivation of profitable plants. This volume breaks new ground by treating the development of the science of botany in its colonial context and situating the early modern exploration of the plant world at the volatile nexus of science, commerce, and state politics.

Written by scholars as international as their subjects, Colonial Botany uncovers an emerging cultural history of plants and botanical practices in Europe and its possessions.

About the Authors

Londa Schiebinger is John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science and Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Stanford University. She is the author of The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern Science; Has Feminism Changed Science?; Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science; and Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World. Claudia Swan is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University and founding Director of the Program in the Study of Imagination. She is the author of The Clutius Botanical Watercolor: Plants and Flowers of the Renaissance and Art, Science, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629).

  • Paperback : 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0812220099
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0812220094
  • Dimensions : 6.14 x 0.79 x 9.21 inches
  • Publisher : University of Pennsylvania Press; Illustrated edition (July 17, 2007)


“Well illustrated and imaginatively written, this . . . superb collection surveys the leading edge of current approaches but also points towards future research.”—Renaissance Studies

“This collection contributes importantly not only to scholarship on science and empire, but makes clear the diversity of colonial relationships and the myriad and complex ways in which scientific knowledge was made.”—Renaissance Quarterly

Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World: Londa Schiebinger

Plants seldom figure in the grand narratives of war, peace, or even everyday life yet they are often at the center of high intrigue. In the eighteenth century, epic scientific voyages were sponsored by European imperial powers to explore the natural riches of the New World, and uncover the botanical secrets of its people. Bioprospectors brought back medicines, luxuries, and staples for their king and country. Risking their lives to discover exotic plants, these daredevil explorers joined with their sponsors to create a global culture of botany.

But some secrets were unearthed only to be lost again. In this moving account of the abuses of indigenous Caribbean people and African slaves, Schiebinger describes how slave women brewed the “peacock flower” into an abortifacient, to ensure that they would bear no children into oppression. Yet, impeded by trade winds of prevailing opinion, knowledge of West Indian abortifacients never flowed into Europe. A rich history of discovery and loss, Plants and Empire explores the movement, triumph, and extinction of knowledge in the course of encounters between Europeans and the Caribbean populations.

About the Author

Londa Schiebinger is John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science and Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University.

  • Paperback : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780674025684
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0674025684
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.72 x 9 inches
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press; Illustrated edition (September 15, 2007)


Plants and Empire shows how botany and slavery, cruelty and courage, curiosity and capitalism all converged on one beautiful “peacock flower”–the ornament of European gardens, a sought-after medicament, and an abortifacient for slave women who refused to bear children into inhuman bondage. This book is rich in information and insights about how plants have transformed our world; it is above all rich in stories about the people who hunted and used them, splendidly told.”Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

“A rich, innovative analysis–laced with poignant vignettes of the lives of travelers, lovers, colonists, and slaves–of how gender structured the science of botany in the age of mercantilist empires. This book sheds light on how the knowledge of plants of Caribbean Amerindians and slaves moved into Northern European gardens and salons and back again into colonial plantations worldwide. Most importantly, it illuminates how this very knowledge was actively suppressed when it proved threatening to the gendered foundations of power at the European core.”Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, SUNY-Buffalo

“Schiebinger brings humble plants–peacock flowers and sassafras trees–into the dark and poignant heart of eighteenth century colonial encounters and into the modern history of cultural exchange. Desperate to extract some botanical knowledge from native peoples, Europeans were equally anxious to suppress other medicines–most notably, the abortifacients with which slaves sought to cheat their master of property and through which European women might also seek to rob the mercantalist state of population. Bio-prospecting was a deeply troubled enterprise. This is a morally serious book for anyone interested in the globalization of ‘intellectual property.’”Thomas Laqueur, University of California, Berkeley

“Londa Schiebinger’s scholarly study covers botanical exploration during what the author calls ‘the long eighteenth century’: from the 1670s until about 1802. This was a period of dawning European recognition that the real treasures of the New World lay not in fabled cities of gold but in the vines, bushes, and flowers that crowded village gardens and grew in the jungles beyond…Schiebinger’s thoughtful study, then, sheds light not only on how new knowledge comes to be, but also on how some new knowledge comes to be ignored.”―Natural History

“Londa Schiebinger’s ambitious, eminently readable new book focuses on “the long eighteenth century” when botany reigned as queen of the colonial sciences…Hopefully, Schiebinger’s intellectual voyage beyond Europe’s borders will lead many others to recognize the fundamental importance of knowledge formation–and non-formation–on the colonial “periphery” of the Atlantic World.”Gregory T. Cushman, Journal of the History of Medicine

“This is a curious book. The heart of it tries to explain why something did not happen…[Schiebinger’s] focus is, as she puts it, ‘the nontransfer of important bodies of knowledge from the New World into Europe.’ It is, then, a study in ‘agnotology,’ that is, of ‘culturally induced ignorances.’ The study of things that did not happen and of ignorances does not sound promising, but Schiebinger has written an entertaining book that raises some interesting questions, and for people passionate about the history of fertility control, no doubt, an important book.”J.R. McNeill, H-Net

“[A] fascinating study…Schiebinger has read widely in the natural-historical and medical literature of the period, and she writes engagingly, bringing to life many of the chief protoganists. This book ought to be essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between science and empire.”Mark Harrison, American Historical Review

Plants and Empire presents a subtle and compelling explanation for why knowledge of West Indian abortifacients was not taken up by scientists in Europe. More broadly, Schiebinger illustrates the explanatory power of agnotology. Her study of scientific ignorance demonstrates that understanding what scientists do not know is just as important as understanding what they do know.”Stuart McCook, Science

Peter Mitchell, ‘The Archaeology of Africa’s Islands: Colonizing and Being Colonized’ | The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research

Peter Mitchell, University of Oxford

The Archaeology of Africa’s Islands: Colonizing and Being Colonized

Register for this lecture

Peter Mitchell is Professor of African Archaeology at the University of Oxford and Tutor and Fellow in Archaeology at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. After completing his undergraduate degree at Cambridge, he took his doctorate at Oxford and then worked in Cape Town and Wales before taking up his present posts in 1995.

As well as continuing to research the archaeology of hunter-gatherers in southern Africa, where he has excavated extensively in Lesotho, he has a strong interest in both the broader, comparative aspects of the African past and human relations with animals.

Key books that have appeared as a result include: The Archaeology of Southern Africa (2002), African Connections: An Archaeological Perspective on Africa’s Relations with the Rest of the World (2005), The First Africans: African Archaeology From the Earliest Toolmakers to Most Recent Foragers (with Larry Barham, 2008), Horse Nations: The Worldwide Impact of the Horse on Indigenous Societies Post-1492 (2015), and The Donkey in Human History: An Archaeological Perspective (2018).

He is co-editor with Paul Lane of The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology, a past President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists, and Hon. Secretary of the British Institute in Eastern Africa.

Peter Mitchell

Associate Professor of African Prehistory
Tutor and Fellow in Archaeology


Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

May 4, 2020

See related material on cartographic history of Africa:

Gov. Cuomo Blasts Trump’s Threat to Withhold Vaccine | NowThis

NowThis News

Nov 16, 2020

‘We’re not going to make the same mistake again’ — Gov. Cuomo fired back at Trump while ensuring that Black, brown, and poor communities will have vaccine access.