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Decent colonialism? Pure science and colonial ideology in the Netherlands East Indies, 1910–1929

  • Andrew Goss

This article examines changes within the Dutch civilising mission ideology after the decline of the Ethical Policy. Support of pure science, scientific knowledge that supposedly transcended ideology and politics, allowed the colonial administration to continue to project their rule as decent and moral, even as conflict and repression dominated colonial politics in the 1920s. The argument starts with the construction of pure science after 1910, under the care of J.C. Koningsberger, out of the research traditions at the Department of Agriculture. It next examines the creation of institutions and agendas of pure science. And finally it analyses the absorption of pure science into the civilising mission of the 1920s. It concludes with a discussion of what this means for historical evaluations of the Dutch colonial project.

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1 Koningsberger, J.C., ‘Horrea replenda,’ toespraak gehouden bij de opening van het Treub-Laboratorium te Buitenzorg op 4 Mei 1914 (Buitenzorg: Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel, 1914), p. 11.

2 Ibid., p. 3.

3 Ibid., pp. 13–4.

4 Ibid., p. 25.

5 Latour, Bruno, Science in action: How to follow scientists and engineers through society (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987).

6 The classic in this genre is Shapin, Steven and Schaffer, Simon, Leviathan and the air-pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the experimental life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985). For a sympathetic review of the changes within the history of science influenced by the outlook that scientific knowledge is a social product, refer to Golinski, Jan, Making natural knowledge: Constructivism and the history of science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

7 Adas, Michael, Machines as the measure of men: Science, technology, and ideologies of western dominance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989).

8 Headrick, Daniel R., The Tools of empire: Technology and European imperialism in the nineteenth century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981); and Headrick, Daniel R., Tentacles of progress: Technology transfer in the age of imperialism, 1850–1940 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).

9 Theunissen, Bert, ‘Nut en nog eens nut’: Wetenschapsbeelden van Nederlandse natuuronderzoekers, 1800–1900 (Hilversum: Verloren, 2000).

10 For recent research about Melchior Treub and the creation of the Department of Agriculture, refer to Cittadino, Eugene, Nature as the laboratory: Darwinian plant ecology in the German Empire, 1880–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); van den Doel, H.W., ‘Practical agricultural education in the Netherlands East Indies: The Transfer of agricultural knowledge to the indigenous population of Java, 1875–1920’, Journal of the Japan-Netherlands Institute, 6 (1996): 7894; Maat, Harro, Science cultivating practice: A History of agricultural science in the Netherlands and its colonies, 1863–1986 (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001); and Moon, Suzanne, Technology and ethical idealism: A History of development in the Netherlands East Indies (Leiden: CNWS, 2007).

11 That this was his intention is made clear in Treub, Melchior, Over de taak en den werkkring van 's lands plantentuin te Buitenzorg (Buitenzorg: ’s Lands Plantentuin, 1899).

12 Moon, Suzanne, ‘The Emergence of technological development and the question of native identity in the Netherlands East Indies’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 36, 2 (2005): 191206.

13 Melchior Treub, ‘Schematisch nota over de oprichting een agricultuur departement in Nederlandsch Indië’, 30 Jan. 1902, in Nationaal Archief, The Hague (hereafter, NA), Ministerie van Koloniën 1900–53 (hereafter, MvK), Verbaal 7 Aug. 1902/74, inv. no. 136.

14 Emphasis in original. Treub to Idenburg, 16 Mar. 1903, in Arsip Nasional Republic Indonesia, Jakarta (hereafter, ANRI), Algemeene Secretarië (hereafter, AS) 1891–1942, Besluit 23 Sept. 1904, no. 20.

15 Headrick, The Tools of empire.

16 Sirks, M.J., Indisch natuuronderzoek (Amsterdam: Ellerman/Harms, 1915); ‘Science in the Netherlands East Indies, ed. L M.R. Rutten (Amsterdam: Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, 1929); ‘Science and scientists in the Netherlands Indies', ed. Pieter Honig and Frans Verdoorn’. (New York: Board for the Netherlands Indies, Surinam and Curaçao); Report of the scientific work done in the Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch overseas territories during the period between approximately 1918 and 1943, ed. B.J.O. Schrieke (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company, 1948); Een eeuw natuurwetenschap in Indonesie 1850–1950: Gedenkboek Koninklijke Natuurkundige Vereeniging (Bandung: KNV, 1950); and Zeijlstra, H.H., Melchior Treub: Pioneer of a new era in the history of the Malay archipelago (Amsterdam: KIT, 1959).

17 For an insightful review of recent Dutch historiography of colonial Indonesia, which argues that Dutch historians must leave behind the ‘question of whether the colonial past was “good” or “bad”’, refer to Houben, Vincent J.H., ‘Koloniale geschiedenis van Indonesië in the 21e eeuw: Meerzijdig en dubbelzinnig’, in Macht en majesteit: Opstellen voor Cees Fasseur bij zijn afscheid als hoogleraar in de geschiedenis van Indonesië aan de Universiteit Leiden, ed. Lindblad, J. Thomas and van der Molen, Willem (Leiden: Opleiding Talen en Culturen van Zuidoost-Azië en Oceanië/Universiteit Leiden, 2002), pp. 293303.

18 Boomgaard, Peter, ‘The Making and unmaking of tropical science: Dutch research on Indonesia, 1600–2000’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 162, 2–3 (2006): 191217.

19 Pyenson, Lewis, Empire of reason: Exact sciences in Indonesia, 1840–1940 (Leiden: Brill, 1989), p. 180.

20 Palladino, Paolo and Worboys, Michael, ‘Science and imperialism’, Isis, 84, 1 (1993): 91102. Pyenson is well aware some of the colonial sciences served political power directly, as he makes clear in his response to Palladino and Worboys. Pyenson, Lewis, ‘Cultural imperialism and exact science revisited’, Isis, 84, 1 (1993): 103–8. In an earlier conference address, published in 1993, he explained what he thought could and could not be proven by analysing the exact sciences in the European colonies. Pyenson, Lewis, ‘Why science may serve political ends: Cultural imperialism and the mission to civilize’, Sudhoffs Archiv Beihefte, 30 (1993): 3954.

21 See, for example, the studies collected in Nature and empire: Science and the colonial enterprise, ed. Roy MacLeod, special issue of Osiris, 15 (2000).

22 Grove, Richard H., Green imperialism: Colonial expansion, tropical island edens and the origins of environmentalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Drayton, Richard, Nature's government: Science, imperial Britain, and the ‘improvement’ of the world (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).

23 Most Indonesian historians that do cite him, do so respectfully, even if they do not engage his argument about cultural imperialism. The only extended treatment of Pyenson's book is Kessler, Clive, ‘Colonial science and the creation of postcolonial scientific tradition in Indonesia’, Akademika, 37 (1990): 91105, which draws attention to the future of international science in Indonesia and Malaysia.

24 Pyenson, Empire of reason, p. 178.

25 Ellen, Roy F., ‘The Development of anthropology and colonial policy in the Netherlands, 1800–1960’, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 12 (1976): 303–24; Pemberton, John, On the subject of ‘Java’ (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994); Peluso, Nancy, Rich forests, poor people: Resource control and resistance in Java (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Stoler, Ann Laura, Carnal knowledge and imperial power: Race and the intimate in colonial rule (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002); and Tagliacozzo, Eric, Secret trades, porous borders: Smuggling and states along a Southeast Asian frontier, 1865–1915 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005).

26 Moon, Technology and ethical idealism, p. 41.

27 Maat, Science cultivating practice, p. 59.

28 de Vries, E., ‘De welvaartsdiensten’, in Balans van beleid: Terugblik op de laatste eeuw van Nederlandsch-Indië, ed. Baudet, H. and Brugmans, I.J. (Assen: van Gorcum, 1984 [1961]), pp. 267–88.

29 Bonneuil, Christophe, ‘Development as experiment: Science and state building in late colonial and postcolonial Africa, 1930–1970’, in Nature and empire: Science and the colonial enterprise, ed. MacLeod, Roy, special issue of Osiris, 15 (2000), pp. 258–81; Storey, William, Science and power in colonial Mauritius (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 1997); Technology and the Raj: Western technology and technical transfers to India 1700–1947, ed. Deepak Kumar and Roy MacLeod (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1995).

30 Koningsberger confirmed he was Treub's choice in Koningsberger to Went, 29 Sept. 1909, in Boerhave Museum archive, Leiden (hereafter, BM), J. C. Koningsberger correspondence archive.

31 Lovink to Idenburg, 23 Apr. 1910, no. 3623, and Lovink to Idenburg, 31 May 1910, no. 5033, in ANRI, AS 1891–1942, Besluit 22 June 1910, no. 8.

32 Rapport van Departement van Landbouw, 9 Dec. 1910, no. 11352, in ANRI, AS 1891–1942, Besluit 31 Dec. 1910, no. 6.

33 Koningsberger to Went, 14 Dec. 1910, in BM, J.C. Koningsberger correspondence archive.

34 Ibid.

35 Koningsberger, J.C., ‘Herinneringen uit mijn directeursjaren van 's Lands Plantentuin (1909 tot 1918)’, in Hortus Botanicus Bogoriensis (Leiden: Brill, 1942), p. 46.

36 Koningsberger, J.C., ‘Het Departement van Landbouw van 1905–1915’, in Jaarboek van het Department van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel 1914 (Batavia: Landsdrukkerij, 1915), pp. 346.

37 Koningsberger, ‘Horrea replenda’, p. 25.

38 Maat, Science cultivating practice, p. 89.

39 Ibid, p. 60.

40 Brugmans, I.J., Geschiedenis van het onderwijs in Nederlandsch-Indië (Groningen: Wolters, 1938), p. 343.

41 Maat, Science cultivating practice, pp. 59–60.

42 F.A.F.C. Went, Wetenschap en tropische landbouw (Weltevreden, 1914), quoted in Schoor, Wim van der, ‘Biologie en landbouw: F.A.F.C. Went en de Indische proefstations’, Gewina, 17 (1994): 157.

43 Went, F.A.F.C., 's Lands Plantentuin te Buitenzorg (Baarn: Hollandia, 1915), p. 15.

44 Lovink to Idenburg, 31 May 1910, no. 5033, in ANRI, AS 1891–1942, Besluit 22 June 1910, no. 8.

45 Koningsberger to Went, 14 Dec. 1910.

46 The herbarium botanists were particularly independent minded, especially after Th. Valeton retired in 1913 (he had been chief of the herbarium since 1904). Thereafter the herbarium staff pursued their own interests under the administratively ineffectual J.J. Smith as the new chief. Valeton to Went, 15 Dec. 1911, in BM, Valeton correspondence archive and Smith to Went, 2 Aug. 1913, in BM, Smith correspondence archive.

47 Koorders, S.H., Exkursionsflora von Java, 4 volumes (Jena: Verslag, 1911–13).

48 Backer, C.A., Kritiek op de Exkursionsflora von Java (Weltevreden: Visser, 1913), p. 66.

49 Verbaal 7 July 1913/3, in NA, MvK, inv. no. 1080.

50 Koorders, S.H., Opmerkingen over eene Buitenzorgsche kritiek op mijne Exkursionsflora von Java (Batavia: Kolff, 1914), p. 9.

51 Boorsma, W.G., ‘Boekbespreking: Opmerkingen over een Buitenzorgsche kritiek op mijne Exkursionsflora von Java’, Teysmannia, 25 (1914): 478–90. Backer also responded, by writing an essay, Slotwoord [Final word], refuting Koorders's defence, which he proposed to publish privately. C.A. Backer, ‘Slotwoord’, 24 Aug. 1914, in NA, MvK, Verbaal 28 Nov. 1914/42, inv. no. 1285

52 Boorsma's printed review was likely a source of some embarrassment to Lovink and other senior colonial officials, who had commissioned and subsidised the publication of the Exkursionsflora. Lovink in 1914 also forbade the publication of Backer's ‘Slotwoord’. Lovink to Idenburg, 17 Sept. 1914, no. 10293; Erdbrink to Lovink, 9 Oct. 1914, no. 400 (secret); Idenburg to Pleijte, 9 Oct. 1914, Mailrapport no. 1192/ 15, in NA, MvK, Verbaal 28 Nov. 1914/42, inv. no. 1285.

53 Koningsberger to Idenburg, 28 Feb. 1916, no. 36 (secret); Kinderman to Koningsberger, 25 Mar. 1916, no. 128 (secret), in NA, MvK, Verbaal 22 June 1916/19, inv. no. 1558.

54 The Utrecht botanist A. Pulle concluded that for pure science to have credibility, the scientists' dirty laundry would have to be kept in house. Refer to J.F. Veldkamp, ‘C.A. Backer, schrijver van een uniek woordenboek’, in Backer, C.A., Verklarend woordenboek van wetenschappelijke plantennamen' (Amsterdam: L.J. Veen, 2000), p. xvi.

55 J.C. Koningsberger, ‘Nota betreffende de oprichting van een Centraal Wetenschappelijk Instituut voor Nederlandsch-Indië’, 12 Feb. 1913, in NA, MvK, Verbaal 28 June 1913/14, inv. no. 1055. For a different emphasis on the continuities between early twentieth-century attempts to found a centralised scientific institute, refer to Pyenson, Empire of reason, pp. 12–13.

56 Lovink to Idenburg, 11 Mar. 1913, no. 2661; Hazeu to Idenburg, 29 Mar. 1913, no. 5318; Advies van den Raad van Nederlandsch-Indië, ‘Betreffende de oprichting van een “Centraal Wetenschapelijk Instituut voor Nederl.Oost-Indië” ’, 22 Apr. 1913, in NA, MvK, Verbaal 28 June 1913/14, inv. no. 1055.

57 Vereeniging Koloniaal Instituut to de Waal Malefijt, 16 June 1913, no. 137, in NA, MvK, Verbaal 28 June 1913/14, inv. no. 1055; Koningsberger to Lovink, 21 Aug. 1913, no. 747; Hazeu to Idenburg, 25 Nov. 1913, no. 20496; Idenburg to Pleijte, 22 Dec. 1913, no. 1459/19; ‘Oprichting van een Centraal Wetenschappelijk Instituut voor Ned.Indie’, Afdeeling AI, 23 Mar. 1914, in NA, MvK, Verbaal 31 Mar. 1914/60, inv. no. 1155.

58 Pyenson, Empire of reason, p. 14.

59 Java's onuitputtelijke natuur: Reisverhalen, tekeningen en fotografieen van Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, ed. Rob Nieuwenhuys and Frits Jaquet (Alphen aan den Rijn: Sijthoff, 1980).

60 Treub, Melchior, ‘La forêt vierge êquatoriale comme association’, Annales du Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg, 22 (1908): 144–52.

61 J.C. Koningsberger, ‘Herinneringen aan Melchior Treub’ (Manuscript, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam [hereafter, KIT], library, 1945).

62 Koningsberger, J.C., Java, zoölogisch en biologisch (Buitenzorg: Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel, 1911–15), p. 2.

63 Ibid., p. 3.

64 Ibid., pp. 55–7.

65 For ecological research in the US in the early twentieth century, refer to Mitman, Gregg, The State of nature: Ecology, community, and American social thought, 1900–1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992); Hagen, Joel B., An Entangled bank: The Origins of ecosystem ecology (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992); and Kohler, Robert, Landscapes and labscapes: Exploring the lab-field border in biology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).

66 Koningsberger, J.C., ‘Bij het honderdjarig bestaan van 's Lands Plantentuin’, Teysmannia, 28 (1917): 117–22.

67 Backer, C.A., Schoolflora voor Java. Ranunculaceae-Myrtaceae (Weltevreden: Visser, 1911), pp. clxviiclxx.

68 Schouten, A.R., Backer, C.A. and Koens, A.J., ‘Een word vooraf’, De Tropische Natuur, 1 (1912): 12.

69 Obdam, J., ‘Een terugblik’, De Tropische Natuur, Jubileum-Uitgave (1936): 810.

70 Slooten, D.F. van, ‘De Nederlandsch Indische Natuur-Historische Vereeniging en De Tropische Natuur’, De Tropische Natuur, Jubileum-Uitgave (1936): 38.

71 Koningsberger to Went, 4 Feb. 1918, in BM, J.C. Koningsberger correspondence archive.

72 Hoekman, J.G., ‘Het tweede tienjarige tijdvak van het bestaan van het Landbouw Departement’, Koloniale Studiën, 9, 1 (1925): 131–48.

73 Koningsberger to Went, 4 Feb. 1918.

74 The Dutch colony had been admired in Europe since the middle of the nineteenth century for its peaceful administration coupled with effective economic exploitation. Fasseur, Cees, ‘Een Britse tegenspreker van Multatuli: Money's lofzang op de cultuurstelsel’, in his De weg naar het paradijs en andere Indische geschiedenisen (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 1995), pp. 89100. Clive Day had in 1904 celebrated the peace and prosperity brought by liberal changes in the Dutch colony after 1870. Day, Clive, The Dutch in Java (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1966 [1904]).

75 Adas, Machines as the measure of men, p. 348. For the rising anxiety amongst Dutch officials in Netherlands East Indies during the First World War, refer to Dijk, Kees van, The Netherlands Indies and the Great War, 1914–1918 (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2007).

76 Shiraishi, Takashi, An Age in motion: Popular radicalism in Java, 1912–1926 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990), pp. 203–15.

77 Doel, H.W. van den, Het rijk van Insulinde: Opkomst en ondergang van een Nederlandse kolonie (Amsterdam: Prometheus, 1996), pp. 215–22.

78 Drooglever, P.J., De Vaderlandse Club 1929–1942: Totoks en de Indische politiek (Franeker: T. Wever, 1980), pp. 24–6.

79 Shiraishi, Takashi, ‘The Phantom world of Digoel,’ Indonesia, 63 (Apr. 1996): 93118.

80 Quoted in Pyenson, Empire of reason, p. 119.

81 Docters van Leeuwen to Went, 3 Aug. 1934, in BM, Docters van Leeuwen correspondence archive; Docters van Leeuwen to van Steenis, 5 Aug. 1934; Docters van Leeuwen to van Steenis, 12 Aug. 1934, in NA, Collection Van Steenis, inv. no. 3D.

82 Koningsberger to Went, 10 Apr. 1919, in BM, J. C. Koningsberger correspondence archive.

83 E. du Perron, who had known him as headmaster in Bandung, called him ‘an honest man without any true character’. du Perron, E., Het land van herkomst (Amsterdam: van Oorschot, 1996 [1936]), p. 467. This description appears not in the autobiographical novel itself, but in a key that du Perron prepared for a friend explaining who his ‘fictional’ characters were based upon. From the novel it is clear du Perron did not greatly admire Docters van Leeuwen, especially after he had suspended du Perron from school for two weeks over a disagreement with the history teacher.

84 J.J. Smith, ‘Reglement voor het Herbarium’, Dec. 1918, in NA, Collection Van Steenis, inv. no. 250.

85 Docters van Leeuwen to Goethart, 28 Aug. 1919, no. 514, in Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden (hereafter, NHN), Buitenzorg correspondence archive 1871–1932.

86 van Leeuwen, W.M. Docters and van Leeuwen-Reynevaan, J. Docters, The Zoocecidia of the Netherlands East Indies (Batavia: de Unie, 1926); van Leeuwen, W.M. Docters, ‘The Flora and fauna of the islands of the Krakatau-groep in 1919’, Annales du Jardin Botanique Buitenzorg, 31 (1921): 103–40; van Leeuwen, W.M. Docters, ‘Biology of plants and animals occurring in the higher parts of Mount Pangrango-Gedeh in west Java’, Verhandelingen van Koninklijke Adademie van Wetenschappen, 31 (1933): 1278; van Leeuwen, –W.M. Docters, Krakatau 1883–1933 (Leiden: Brill, 1936).

87 Jaarboek van het Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel 1920 (Batavia: Ruygrok, 1922), p. 4; Soerohaldoko, Soetomo et al. , Kebun Raya Cibodas, 11 April 1852–11 April 2000 (Bogor: LIPI, 2000), pp. 13–4.

88 Smith to Went, 20 Apr. 1918, in BM, Smith correspondence archive.

89 In the late 1940s, the botanist C.G.G.J. van Steenis (who started at the Gardens in 1927) argued that the Botanical Gardens were freest from controversy under Docters van Leeuwen. van Steenis to F.C. Went, 19 Jan. 1949, in NA, Collection van Steenis, inv. no. 9.

90 Lam to Went, 16 Jan. 1928, in BM, Lam correspondence archive. See also, Veldkamp, ‘C.A. Backer’, p. xii.

91 van Leeuwen, W.M. Docters, ‘’s Lands Plantentuin te Buitenzorg, 18 Mei 1817–18 Mei 1942’, in Hortus Botanicus Bogoriensis (Leiden: Brill, 1942), p. 17.

92 Docters van Leeuwen to Indische Committee voor Wetenschappelijke Onderzoekingen (hereafter, ICWO), 11 May 1931, no. 305, in NA, Collection ICWO, inv. no. 38.

93 Docters van Leeuwen was not initially invited, but he finagled himself onto the team after permission to take a plane for anthropological study required Dutch government intervention. C.C.F.M. le Roux, ‘Beknopt voorloopig plan voor een Amerikaansch-Nederlandsche Expeditie naar het Nassau-gebergte in Ned. Nieuw-Guinee’, 27 Jan. 1926, in NA, Collection ICWO, inv. no. 124. For a good introduction to this expedition, refer to Paul Michael Taylor, By aeroplane to Pygmyland: Revisiting the 1926 Dutch and American expedition to New Guinea, published online by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, (last accessed on 9 July 2008).

94 W.M. Docters van Leeuwen, ‘Voorbereiding van den bioloog van de Expeditie’, Apr. 1926, in NA, Collection ICWO, inv. no. 125 and NA, Collection ICWO, inv. no. 126.

95 Docters van Leeuwen to Went, 6 Mar. 1928, in BM, Docters van Leeuwen correspondence archive.

96 Heyne, K., De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch-Indië, 2nd edn, 3 vols. (Batavia: Ruygrok, 1927). Heyne was replaced in 1927 by the systematic botanist C.G.G.J. van Steenis who did only the bare minimum of economic botany work thereafter.

97 Went, F.W., ‘Reflections and speculations’, Annual Review of Plant Physiology, 25 (1974): 126.

98 Docters van Leeuwen to Went, 1 Apr. 1926, no. 214, in BM, Docters van Leeuwen correspondence archive.

99 Rutgers to De Graeff, 21 Feb. 1927, no. 1756/C, in ANRI, AS 1891–1942, Brief Gouvernements Besluit, 8 Apr. 1927, no. 736B.

100 Ibid.

101 ANRI, AS 1819–1942, Besluit 6 Jan. 1928, no. 13.

102 ‘Reglement voor den Natuurwetenschappelijke Raad voor Nederlandsch-Indië’, in ANRI, AS 1891–1942, Besluit 28 Feb. 1928, no. 9.

103 Pyenson, Empire of reason, pp. 15–16.

104 Jacobs, M., Herman Jacobs Lam (1892–1977): The Life and work of a Dutch botanist (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1984), pp. 32–3.

105 Fourth Pacific Science Congress Java 1929, Excursion Guides, in KIT library.

106 Fourth Pacific Science Congress to be held at Batavia-Bandoeng, from Thursday, May 16th to Saturday, May 25th, 1929, Supplementary Announcement, Sept. 1928, in KIT library.

107 H.J. Lam, ‘Conspectus of institutions of pure and applied science in or concerning the Netherlands East Indies’, in Science in the Netherlands East Indies, ed. L.M.R. Rutten, pp. 383–432.

108 Docters van Leeuwen to Went, 21 Feb. 1928, in BM, Docters van Leeuwen correspondence archive.

109 Jacobs, Lam, p. 32.

110 Proceedings of the Fourth Pacific Science Congress Java, 1929: Volume I, General part and reports on oceanography, ed. H.J. Lam and K.W. Dammerman (Batavia: n.p., 1930), pp. 5–24.

111 Ibid., p. 368.

112 Ibid., p. 73.

113 Ibid., p. 71.

114 Handelingen van de Volksraad 1918, p. 170.

115 Stokvis, J.E., ‘Geen universitair, wel hooger vakonderwijs’, Het Tijdschrift, 9 (1 Jan. 1912): 276–8.

116 Ratu Langie, G.S.S.J., ‘De Indonesische universiteit’, Nationale Commentaren 1, 20 (24 May 1938): 340–2.

117 For British scientists' role in colonial exploitation of natural resources, refer to Arnold, David, Science, technology and medicine in colonial India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

118 Adas, Machines as the measure of men.

119 For an excellent review of this literature, refer to MacLeod, Roy, ‘Introduction’, in Nature and empire, science and the colonial enterprise, special edition of Osiris, 15 (2000): 113.

120 For an examination of the government's changing economic priorities during the depression, refer to Booth, Anne, ‘The Evolution of fiscal policy and the role of government in the colonial economy’, in Indonesian economic history in the Dutch colonial era, ed. Booth, Anne, O'Malley, W.J., and Weidemann, Anna (New Haven, CT: Yale University Southeast Asian Studies, 1990), pp. 210–43.

121 Docters van Leeuwen to Went, 19 Oct. 1931, in BM, Docters van Leeuwen Correspondence Archive.

122 The most famous attack was made, ironically, by Koningsberger's son, J.C., Koningsberger, V.J., ‘Het werk van Melchior Treub na 25 jaren’, Koloniale Studiën, 18, 1 (1934): 249–58.

123 Mission interrupted: The Dutch in the east Indies and their work in the XXth century, ed. W.H. van Helsdingen and H. Hoogenberk (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1945) and Science and scientists in the Netherlands Indies, ed. Verdoorn and Honig.

124 Furnivall, J.S., untitled book review in Pacific Affairs, 19, 2 (1946): 212–14.

125 Balans van beleid, ed. Baudet and Brugmans. Harry Benda wrote that this book reflected an ‘unperturbed certitude in the rightness – and inevitable gradualness – of the Dutch civilizing mission in Indonesia’. Benda, Harry, ‘The Pattern of administrative reform in the closing years of Dutch rule in Indonesia’, Journal of Asian Studies, 25, 4 (1966): 590.

126 Houben, ‘Koloniale Geschiedenis van Indonesië’, p. 302.

Andrew Goss is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. Correspondence in connection with this paper should be addressed to: . The author would like to convey his many thanks to the anonymous referees of this article for their insightful and helpful comments.

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