By David P. D. Munns

This is the 1st historical past of phytotrons, large climate-controlled laboratories that enabled plant scientists to scan at the environmental reasons of progress and improvement of dwelling organisms. Made attainable by means of desktops and different glossy applied sciences of the early chilly conflict, similar to air-con and humidity regulate, phytotrons promised an finish to international starvation and political instability, spreading around the globe to thirty international locations after international warfare II. the U.S. equipped approximately a dozen, together with the 1st at Caltech in 1949. by means of the mid-1960s, as help and investment for simple technology diminished, phytotrons declined and finally disappeared—until, approximately thirty years later, the British outfitted the Ecotron to review the impression of weather switch on organic groups. by means of recalling the forgotten historical past of phytotrons, David P. D. Munns reminds us of the $64000 function they could play in assisting researchers get to the bottom of the complexities of typical ecosystems within the Anthropocene.

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Engineering the Environment: Phytotrons and the Quest for Climate Control in the Cold War by David P. D. Munns


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