Science in Siam


WHEN the invitation of the King of Siam to observe the late total eclipse of the sun reached the Royal Society, it was hailed with delight by those who took an interest in the expedition. A few Europeans professing to know something about the country wrote letters to newspapers discouraging astronomers from accepting the invitation. Happily no notice was taken of these anonymous letters, and the result was that the members of the expedition were surprised, not only by the good reception they met with everywhere in Siam, but also by the great interest the Siamese themselves took in the eclipse and in science generally. The late king was well known for his love of astronomy, but many might suppose that this was a solitary case, and that with the death of the king science would be left unprotected in the country. A short account of our experience will show that the interest the Siamese take in science is rather on the increase than on the decrease.


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SCHUSTER, A. Science in Siam . Nature 12, 233–234 (1875).

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