The Amazing World of James Hector: Explorer, Doctor, Geologist, Botanist, Natural Historian, and One of New Zealand's Most Remarkable Figures

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Awa Press, Sep 1, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 185 pages
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Within seven-and-a-half years of his arrival in New Zealand at the age of 28, James Hector had founded and was in charge of all the country’s major scientific institutions. Today these institutions—under their modern names GNS Science, the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and the Royal Society of New Zealand—still form the scientific backbone of New Zealand. The first biography of this pioneer, this compelling celebration shows Hector as an inspired scientist who researched and wrote on a variety of topics—ranging from the geology of coal fields to the fossil skeletons of whales—an avid botanist whose name is borne by 13 plant species, and a geologist who produced maps of enduring quality. His extraordinary life and work is vividly celebrated in this anthology of essays from New Zealand’s foremost scientists and his own descendents.

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About the author (2009)


Simon Nathan is a geologist and former editor of Te Ara, the online encyclopedia of New Zealand. Mary Varnham is the publishing director of Awa Press and author of Beyond Blue Hills and Heading Nowhere in a Navy Blue Suit. Hamish Campbell is the geologist at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the coauthor of The Transit of Venus.

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