SCIENCE & TECH

Cook’s voyages were always controversial, a new show reveals

A Tahitian sketch of first contact

Welcome, stranger: Tupaia’s sketch of an encounter between artist Joseph Banks and a Maori

British Library Board

In the 250 years since he set sail from Plymouth, readings of James Cook’s three maritime expeditions have zigzagged as wildly as the drunken-looking course of his vessels around the islands of the South Pacific. Did the self-made captain and cartographer from Teesside circumnavigate the globe three times in search of wonder, or plunder? Did his ships Endeavour, Resolution and Discovery blaze a watery trail for science or commerce, Enlightenment or imperialism? If the correct answer is (inevitably) “all of the above”, then …

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New Scientist – Earth

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