’New Zealand is no more’: Botany and mobility in the career of Leonard Cockayne


  • Matthew Henry




New Zealand, mobility, science, botany, Leonard Cockayne


An emerging ‘new mobilities paradigm’ in the social sciences has begun to focus critical attention on the meaningfulness of mobility rather than the geometries of movement (Cresswell, 2006). Work framed by this emerging concern has been diverse in its interest in the various means and spaces of mobility. However, as Creswell (2010) has recently argued such work has tended to render mobility as a singular thing rather than an activity constituted through a multiplicity of facets. This paper draws on Creswell’s notion of multiplicity to explore the entangled mobilities of botanical practice in early twentieth century New Zealand as seen through the career of Leonard Cockayne. In doing this the paper argues that recognising the multiple dimensions of mobility in Cockayne’s botanical work offers a ways of helping develop our understanding of the ‘lives told’ of early twentieth scientific practice, and of placing one of those lives within its broader and historical contexts. A process, described by Shapin (2010) as part of the ongoing and necessary effort to understand science as a situated, embodied and very human set of practices.

Author Biography

Matthew Henry

Senior Lecturer Planning Programme School of People, Environment and Planning College of Humanities and Social Sciences Massey University




How to Cite

Henry, M. (2011). ’New Zealand is no more’: Botany and mobility in the career of Leonard Cockayne. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 9(1), 12–37. https://doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol9iss1id167