(Travel Fellow, 2018-19)
Interstate Geology: Mapping the Raw Materials of Industry, 1809-1867
Gustave Lester is a doctoral student in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is broadly concerned with the centrality of minerals in modern industrialized environments and politics. At the Linda Hall Library, he will be conducting research for his dissertation “Mineral Lands, Mineral Empire,” which traces the intersection of earth science, industrial capitalism, and governance from the emergence of mineral surveying in the late eighteenth century, to the late-nineteenth century embrace of geology for nation building. His research focuses in particular on how geologists facilitated capitalist and imperial projects in nineteenth century North America, and the ways the pursuit of industrial raw materials shaped scientific knowledge and practice. Before arriving at Harvard, Gustave received his undergraduate degree with honors in history and philosophy (minor) from the University of Idaho.