A Scientific Research Program at the US-Mexico Borderland Region: The Search for the Recipe of Maya Blue
This chapter explores the unusual ways in which a scientific community can enrich and develop its current research programs in the process of trading with a long-lost historic community. I present here a case study of a scientific research program undertaken in the US-Mexico borderland region by some material chemists who took up the unusual project of reviving a long-lost ancient secret—the recipe for the classic pigment called Maya blue. In the course of that research, they found that they had opened doors to a world of new materials and enriched their own current research programs in materials engineering. Having thus established ties with an ancient group of historic predecessors, they preserved a lost heritage, and this heritage, in its turn, led to elements of diversity in their current practice. In the sections below, I analyze what this kind of efforts might mean for science, if only seen through the lenses of a trading zone.
KeywordsMaya Blue Trading Zones Borderland Organic-inorganic Complexes
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