The volume investigates how the British, French, German, and Dutch empires influenced or were influenced by scientific exploration as a means Western culture used to gain entry to the non-Western world from around 1800 to the middle of the twentieth century. The transnational perspective aidsan understanding and comparison of the sciences as an instrument which the colonial powers employed to gain economic advantage and political control. The essays pay tribute to the 'metropolitan/centre' and 'colonial/periphery' viewpoints and to the different ways in which imperial expansion occurred. Science had specific meanings in the specific historical realities of European colonialism: the European case studies present similarities anddifferences in their imperial systems, and in the way in which science was used in relation to the level at which they interacted intellectually with the indigenous populations. As these were relationships of interdependence, science certainly helped to purvey solutions that were required by theimperial governments. However, it could equally well provide the basis for an institution of knowledge that was used by the colonized to create forms of civil disobedience ranging up to open resistance to the colonial power. Life sciences, natural history, and the 'non-exact' sciences could beincorporated within the colonial sciences by assimilation and transformation. This process helps us to comprehend the complex character of the interaction between Europe and the colonial world which is a major concern of the present volume. Its agenda lies in engaging with both the Europeanperspective and the viewpoints of colonial life, thus embodying the historiographical concept of 'entangled histories'. It was in the process of these multiple engagements between (1) Europeans and the colonial world, and (2) European scientists at home and abroad that colonial science emerged and developed. Certain features and legacies of modern imperial science are brought together as key elements not only ofWestern imperialism, but of a global intelligence system.