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Beauty or Statistics

Practice and Science in Dutch Livestock Breeding, 1900–2000

The long tradition of livestock breeding in the Netherlands serves as a valuable example of the delicate balance between art and science, beauty and statistics in the modernizing field of agriculture.

Author Information


Bert Theunissen is the director of the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, and the Chair of the History of Science Program at Utrecht University.


Margaret E. Derry, adjunct professor, Department of History, Associated faculty member, Campbell Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Guelph:

"Beauty or Statistics is a marvelous book resulting from meticulous research, and advances the broadening field of studies devoted to understanding how animal breeding has evolved after the advent of the science of genetics."

Paul Brassley, Department of History, University of Exeter :

"Beauty or Statistics makes a significant contribution to the histories of both science and agriculture, while all of those involved in livestock breeding over the last sixty or seventy years will find part of their life stories written here."

Audience: College/higher education;Professional and scholarly;