319 results match your criteria Annals Of Science[Journal]


Kindred fatalisms: debating science, Islam, and free will in the Darwinian era.

Ann Sci 2022 May 12:1-22. Epub 2022 May 12.

Department of Sociology, TED University, Ankara, Turkey.

An important aspect of the nineteenth century debate on the relationship between science and religion concerned the popularity of deterministic views among scientists. An integral part of Comte's positivism, the idea of immutable laws that determined natural and social phenomena became an increasingly prevalent component of scientific perspectives in the Darwinian era. Referring to this tendency as 'scientific fatalism,' critics likened it to Calvinist predestination, which transformed the debate into one involving polemics about different branches of Christianity as well. Read More

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Monteiro da Rocha and the international debate in the 1760s on astronomical methods to find the longitude at sea: his proposals and criticisms to Lacaille's lunar-distance method.

Ann Sci 2022 Apr 14;79(2):215-258. Epub 2022 Apr 14.

University of Nantes, CFV, Nantes, France.

In the 1760s, the international debate on the solution to determining longitude at sea is at its acme. Two solutions emerge, the mechanical and the astronomical ones. The Portuguese mathematician and astronomer José Monteiro da Rocha (1734-1819) is well aware of that debate. Read More

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Conceptualizing paradigms: on reading Kuhn's history of the quantum.

Authors:
Jan Potters

Ann Sci 2022 Apr 12:1-20. Epub 2022 Apr 12.

Department of Philosophy, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

In this article, I discuss the criticisms raised against Thomas Kuhn's . These criticisms concern two issues: how to understand Planck's position with regards to the quantization of energy in 1901, and how to understand the book's relation to . Both criticisms, I argue, concern the notion of a paradigm: the first concerns how Boltzmann acted as an exemplar for Planck, and the second whether the book provides a paradigm change. Read More

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The Harvest of Optics: Descartes, Mydorge, and their paths to a theory of refraction.

Authors:
Robert Goulding

Ann Sci 2022 Apr 12;79(2):164-214. Epub 2022 Mar 12.

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA.

In 1626, René Descartes and Claude Mydorge worked closely together on the problem of refraction, apparently discovering what is now known as the sine law of refraction. They constructed a plano-hyperbolic lens in order to test out the truth of this mathematical relationship. In 1637, Descartes finally published the sine method of determining refractions in his , which also demonstrated, on the basis of this relationship, that the hyperbola and ellipse were anaclastic lines (that is, that a lens with their profile would refract rays perfectly to a single point) without mentioning Mydorge. Read More

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Astrology in the crossfire: the stormy debate after the comet of 1577.

Authors:
Gábor Almási

Ann Sci 2022 Apr 11;79(2):137-163. Epub 2022 Feb 11.

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck, Austria.

The new star of 1572 and the comet of 1577 had a major impact on the ways in which astronomical research developed in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Behind this gradual but significant change there was an extended epistemological reform which placed increasing emphasis on reason and experience and strove to exclude arguments from Scripture and authority from scientific debate. This paper argues that the humanist debate on astrology after 1577, which was initiated by highly prestigious members of a supraconfessional Republic of Letters, can be seen as an element of this process. Read More

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The M de Jussieu's 'mirror of the Incas': an ecuadorian archaeological artefact in the mineralogical collection of René-Just Haüy (1743-1822).

Ann Sci 2022 Apr 21;79(2):259-273. Epub 2022 Jan 21.

Alliance Sorbonne Université, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Histoire Naturelle de l'Homme Préhistorique (UMR-CNRS 7194).

This article reports on a historical investigation carried out on the conical object MIN000-3519 preserved in the mineralogy collections of the at Paris (France). The mineralogist René-Just Haüy (1743-1822) included this object, cut in a single pyrite (FeS) crystal, in his working collection with the references 'Sulphured iron, mirror of the Incas, of Peru, M. de Jussieu'. Read More

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Purkyně's : the hearing 'Deaf', auditory attention and organic subjectivity in Prague psychophysical experiments, ca 1850s.

Authors:
Anna Kvicalova

Ann Sci 2022 Jan 28;79(1):60-80. Epub 2021 Dec 28.

Centre for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

The paper examines the little-known experiments in audition performed by the prominent experimental physiologist Jan Purkyně in Prague in the 1850s. Purkyně's original research on spatial hearing and auditory attention is studied against the backdrop of the nineteenth century research on binaural audition and the nascent field of psychophysics. The article revolves around an acoustic research instrument of Purkyně's own making, the , in which hearing became both an object of investigation and an instrument of scientific inquiry. Read More

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January 2022

Mapping the evolution of early modern natural philosophy: corpus collection and authority acknowledgement.

Ann Sci 2022 Jan 15;79(1):1-39. Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.

Although natural philosophy underwent dramatic transformations during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, studying its evolution as a whole remains problematic. In this paper, we present a method that integrates traditional reading and computational tools in order to distil from different resources (the four existing of early modern philosophers and ) a representative corpus (consisting of 2,535 titles published in Latin, French, English, and German) for mapping the evolution of natural philosophy. In particular, we focus on gathering authors and works that were (directly or indirectly) engaged with the teaching of natural philosophy in the early modern academic milieu. Read More

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January 2022

The ruling engines and diffraction gratings of Henry Augustus Rowland.

Authors:
C N Brown

Ann Sci 2022 Jan 28;79(1):81-130. Epub 2021 Oct 28.

Formerly of the Science Museum, London, UK.

During a visit to Europe in the autumn of 1882, Henry Augustus Rowland, Professor of Physics at Johns Hopkins University, displayed diffraction gratings produced on a ruling engine he had designed and built, which were bigger and much higher quality than any previously made. Some were of a novel type, ruled on concave surfaces, which he used in a simple but equally novel spectroscope that he had devised, to reveal spectral lines in great detail, and by means of photography to record spectral data much more rapidly than previously possible. Over about twenty years Rowland built three ruling engines, published photographic maps of the solar spectrum, compiled a catalogue of the wavelengths of lines in the solar spectrum correlated with laboratory-produced spectra of almost all the chemical elements, and produced and sold the diffraction gratings used by spectroscopists everywhere. Read More

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January 2022

From the state of nature to the state of ruins: 'American race' and 'savage knowledge' according to Carl von Martius.

Authors:
Raphael Uchôa

Ann Sci 2022 Jan 27;79(1):40-59. Epub 2021 Oct 27.

Darwin College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

This study focuses on the notions of 'ruins', 'savage knowledge', and 'American race' in the works of the German naturalist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794-1868). A somewhat neglected figure in the history of anthropology and of natural history, Martius was regarded by scholars from Europe and the Americas as a leading figure in botany and ethnology in the nineteenth century. In this article, I discuss how Martius articulated: (1) the notion of American race, that is, a broad characterization of the native peoples of the Americas rooted in a complex natural history which brought together seemingly disparate fields of knowledge, such as medicine, botany, theology, philology, and mythology; (2) having ruins as a guiding concept, which helped him to make sense of American natives; and (3) savage knowledge - a concept semantically aligned to that of ruins, and among whose principal modes of expression was shamanic practice. Read More

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January 2022

Guillaume des Moustiers' treatise on the armillary instrument (1264) and the practice of astronomical observation in medieval Europe.

Ann Sci 2021 Oct 17;78(4):401-417. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

This article is devoted to a thirteenth-century Latin text on how to construct, set up, and use a version of the so-called armillary instrument (), which was first described in Ptolemy's as a tool for measuring ecliptic coordinates. Written in 1264 by Guillaume des Moustiers, bishop of Laon, this hitherto unstudied survives in a single manuscript, where it is accompanied by a copious set of glosses. The text and its glosses jointly offer an unusually detailed account of the instrument's material aspects and methods of assembly. Read More

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October 2021

The place and significance of comparative trials in German agricultural writings around 1800.

Authors:
Jutta Schickore

Ann Sci 2021 Oct 29;78(4):484-503. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.

This paper discusses the place and significance of comparative trials in German agricultural writings around 1800. In the second half of the eighteenth century, practitioners of agriculture began to discuss the role and design of agricultural trials. The notion of comparative experimentation played a significant role in these discussions, but it could mean quite different things: comparative assessment of treatments in terms of yield, cost-effectiveness, and adequacy for an intended purpose; comparative input variations to explore the multitude of effects of certain causes; and the comparison of something treated with something untreated, to establish the effects of a treatment more securely. Read More

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October 2021

Observations on Niccolò Tornioli's .

Ann Sci 2021 Oct 26;78(4):418-462. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Department of History of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Our discussion of Niccolò Tornioli's questions some of the traditional identifications of its characters, although we cannot claim to have solved these figures' identities and several remain a mystery. We do present new iconographic interpretations of particular scientific instruments, diagrams, and natural phenomena in the canvas. These novel readings occasionally remain conjectural in part because Tornioli represents these entities in a way that makes it clear that he did not fully comprehend them. Read More

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October 2021

Allegiance and Supremacy: Religion and the Royal Society's 3rd Charter of 1669.

Ann Sci 2021 Oct 10;78(4):463-483. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Flinders University of South Australia, Humanities arts and social sciences, Adelaide, Australia.

This paper examines a neglected aspect of the history of the early Royal Society. Though it's first two Royal Charters of 1662 and 1663 did not contain any religious-political restrictions, its 3rd Royal Charter of 1669 did. For the grant of an investment property in Chelsea, and the right to appoint more than one Vice President, the 3rd Charter restricted the sale of the property in Chelsea back to the Crown, and all Presidents and Vice Presidents were required to swear the Anglican religious-political state oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy before admission to the positions. Read More

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October 2021

Atoms in the campus: Van de Graaff accelerators and the making of two major Latin American universities in 1950s Brazil and Mexico.

Authors:
Adriana Minor

Ann Sci 2021 Oct 5;78(4):504-530. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Centro de Estudios Históricos, El Colegio de México, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico.

This paper deals with two cases of acquisition and construction of Van de Graaff accelerators in 1950s Latin America, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the University of São Paulo, respectively. A comparative approach allows us to appreciate the significance of this particular technology within scientific, cultural, commercial, and political processes. Van de Graaff accelerators appeared as an affordable technology to engage in experimental nuclear physics and to be part of the atomic age. Read More

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October 2021

A cosmographer in the New Kingdom of Granada: astronomy and chronology in Sánchez de Cozar Guanientá's (1696).

Ann Sci 2021 Jul 29;78(3):295-333. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Instituto de Filosofía, Universidad de Antioquia UdeA, Medellín, Colombia.

This article interprets a recently recovered manuscript, composed by Antonio Sánchez in New Granada 1696, in the context of the Spanish and Renaissance cosmographies. Sánchez's proposes a spherical astronomy, in which celestial bodies - including comets - move in orbs containing pyramidal knots that explain the changing speed observed in the motion of planets. From this astronomy and following the peninsular style of , Sánchez derives two major conclusions: the corrected length of the solar year and a revised birth date of Jesus. Read More

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Geo-heliocentric models and the Society of Jesus: from Clavius's resistance to Dechales's .

Authors:
Ivana Gambaro

Ann Sci 2021 Jul 9;78(3):265-294. Epub 2021 May 9.

DAFIST, University of Genova, Genova, Italy.

In 1588 Tycho Brahe proposed a new cosmological system keeping a motionless Earth at the centre of the world. In the first half of the following century the reception of Tycho's model within the Society of Jesus was characterized by a strong resistance at the beginning, followed by a long and winding path, and then a good fortune, whereas heliocentric models were increasingly investigated in European observatories. In 1651 a Jesuit astronomer, Giovan Battista Riccioli, published the , an encyclopaedic synthesis of astronomical knowledge where the Earth's motions or rest were extensively discussed in order to prove the Earth's immobility. Read More

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Pasteur's lifelong engagement with the fine arts: uncovering a scientist's passion and personality.

Authors:
Bert Hansen

Ann Sci 2021 Jul 29;78(3):334-386. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of History, Baruch College of CUNY, New York, NY, USA.

The French chemist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) chose to be actively engaged in the fine arts throughout his life-yet scholarship has ignored or dismissed these pursuits. This empirical study documents his unknown, but deep involvement with art and artists from age thirteen until his death. This was no casual pastime. Read More

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A different kind of Nierenstein reaction. The Chemical Society's mistreatment of Maximilian Nierenstein.

Ann Sci 2021 Apr 23;78(2):221-245. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI, USA.

Between 1920 and 1922, the University of Bristol biochemist, Maximilian Nierenstein, published four papers in a series exploring the structure of catechin in the The Society then abruptly refused to accept any more of his papers on catechin, or any other subject. It provided him with no reasons for the embargo until 1925. It then transpired that Nierenstein was boycotted because it was deemed that he had not responded adequately to criticisms of his work made by his rival in catechin research, the German natural products chemist, Karl Freudenberg. Read More

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Isaac Newton's 'De gravitatione et aequipondio fluidorum': its purpose in historical context.

Authors:
Dmitri Levitin

Ann Sci 2021 Apr 11;78(2):133-161. Epub 2021 Apr 11.

All Souls College, Oxford, UK.

Few texts in the history of science and philosophy have achieved the level of interpretative indeterminacy as a short manuscript tract by Isaac Newton, known as 'De gravitatione'. On the basis of some new evidence, this article argues that it is an introductory fragment of some lectures on hydrostatics delivered in the of spring 1671. Taking seriously the possibility of a pedagogical purpose, it is then argued that the famous digression on space, far from articulating a sophisticated metaphysics that may have owed something to Henry More, was a simple piece of mixed-mathematical prolegomena designed to facilitate the subsequent geometrical argumentation. Read More

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Aurora borealis systems in the German-Russian world in the first half of the eighteenth century: the cases of Friedrich Christoph Mayer and Leonhard Euler.

Authors:
E Chassefière

Ann Sci 2021 Apr 1;78(2):162-196. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris-Université PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Université Paris, France.

We are interested in the case of Friedrich Christoph Mayer, who in the 1720s, while at the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg (in Latin Academiae scientiarum imperialis Petropolitanae), developed a system of the aurora borealis, as well as a mathematical method for calculating the height of the aurora from the geometrical characteristics of the auroral arc. Mayer, encountering a major contradiction in his system which placed the aurora at the height of the clouds, whereas his mathematical method led to an altitude a hundred times higher, never applied his method to concrete cases to deduce the height of the aurora, and quickly lost interest in their detailed description, a task that was nevertheless assigned to him at the St. Read More

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Traces on a Muddy Shore. Science and religion in Colonial and Early Independent Río de la Plata.

Authors:
Miguel de Asúa

Ann Sci 2021 Apr 14;78(2):197-220. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

National Research Council for Science and Technology (Argentina).

This paper is intended as a contribution to the study of science and religion in late modern Catholic societies. I explore the treatment of natural philosophy vis-à-vis religious (Roman Catholic) authority, the teaching of Biblical geology, and the use of natural theology in texts from Río de la Plata in the transition from late colonial to early independent times (1770-1815). After reviewing the assimilation of modern science into scholastic teaching and the articulation of reason and religious authority, the article considers the handling of the early history of the Earth in the theses of scholastic teachers and in the geological memoirs of the naturalist priest from Montevideo Dámaso Larrañaga. Read More

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Counting human chromosomes before 1960: preconceptions, perceptions and predilections.

Authors:
Alan R Rushton

Ann Sci 2021 Jan 10;78(1):92-116. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Pediatrics, Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington, NJ, USA.

In 1956 the biomedical world was surprised to hear a report that human cells each contained forty six chromosomes, rather than the forty eight count that had been documented since the 1920s. Application of available techniques to culture human cells , halt their division at metaphase, and disperse chromosomes in an optical plane permitted perception of visual images not seen before. Researchers continued to obtain the preconceived forty eight counts until reeducation with these novel epistemic 'chromosomes' convinced them that they could confidently report forty six chromosomes per cell. Read More

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January 2021

and in late Qing China: translations and conceptualizations, 1860s-1910s.

Authors:
Xi Ma

Ann Sci 2021 Jan 30;78(1):64-91. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Department of the History of Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

This article critically examines the translations of two terms - and - in modern China. The last decades of the Qing dynasty (1860s-1910s) witnessed a transition in the terminological usage of the Chinese equivalents of mineral and mineralogy from (metals and rocks) and (a study of metals and rocks) to and . A scrutiny of this transition raises questions regarding not only the exchanges in scientific knowledge between China, the West, and Japan since the nineteenth century, but the changes in the understanding of natural things in China. Read More

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January 2021

Thomas Robert Malthus, naturalist of the mind.

Ann Sci 2020 Oct 8;77(4):495-523. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Institute for Advanced Studies of the Humanities, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

In 1798, Thomas Robert Malthus's infamous was published. The publication of the is best remembered for Malthus's principle - that population multiplies geometrically as opposed to subsistence increasing arithmetically. What is not well known, however, is that Malthus's also offered a sophisticated - and heterodox - theory of mind. Read More

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October 2020

History of 'temperature': maturation of a measurement concept.

Authors:
John P McCaskey

Ann Sci 2020 Oct 27;77(4):399-444. Epub 2020 Sep 27.

Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University, New York, NY, USA.

Accounts of how the concept of temperature has evolved typically cast the story as ancillary to the history of the thermometer or the history of the concept of heat. But then, because the history of temperature is not treated as a subject in its own right, modern associations inadvertently get read back into the historical record. This essay attempts to lay down an authoritative record not of what people in the past thought about what we call 'temperature' but of what they thought about what they called 'temperature' (or one of its cognates), from medieval times to today. Read More

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October 2020

'Ghosts from other planets': plurality of worlds, afterlife and satire in Emanuel Swedenborg's (1758).

Ann Sci 2020 Oct 20;77(4):469-494. Epub 2020 Sep 20.

Linacre College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

In 1758 in London, Swedish natural philosopher and mystic theologian Emanuel Swedenborg published (), a treatise on the plurality of worlds and life on other planets. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these topics formed a heterogenous literary genre which encompassed theology, astronomy, philosophy and satire. In , Swedenborg made detailed claims of communication with extraterrestrial spirits in the afterlife, through which he sought to spread his theology to new audiences. Read More

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October 2020

John Hill (1714?-1775) on 'Plant Sleep': experimental physiology and the limits of comparative analysis.

Authors:
Justin Begley

Ann Sci 2021 Jan 12;78(1):41-63. Epub 2020 Sep 12.

Department of Philosophy, History, and Art, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

The phenomenon of 'plant sleep' - whereby vegetables rhythmically open and close their leaves or petals in daily cycles - has been a continual source of fascination for those with botanical interests, from the Portuguese physician Cristóbal Acosta and the Italian naturalist Prospero Alpini in the sixteenth century to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Charles Darwin in the nineteenth. But it was in 1757 that the topic received its earliest systemic treatment on English shores with the prodigious author, botanist, actor, and Royal Society critic John Hill's . As the present article aims to illustrate, Hill and his respondents used this remarkable behaviour, exhibited by certain plants, as a lens through which to reassess the nature of vegetables, and to address pressing questions of wider natural philosophical import, particularly the degree of continuity between the structures and functions of plants and animals and whether similar mechanisms necessarily account for related movements in different life forms. Read More

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January 2021

Linear Programming from Fibonacci to Farkas.

Authors:
Norman Biggs

Ann Sci 2021 Jan 6;78(1):1-21. Epub 2020 Sep 6.

Department of Mathematics, London School of Economics, London, UK.

At the beginning of the 13th century Fibonacci described the rules for making mixtures of all kinds, using the Hindu-Arabic system of arithmetic. His work was repeated in the early printed books of arithmetic, many of which contained chapters on 'alligation', as the subject became known. But the rules were expressed in words, so the subject often appeared difficult, and occasionally mysterious. Read More

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January 2021

Francis Bacon, José de Acosta, and Traditions of Natural Histories of Winds.

Authors:
Craig Martin

Ann Sci 2020 Oct 3;77(4):445-468. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni Culturali, Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia, Italy.

It is well attested that Francis Bacon considered his to be an exemplar, but what lessons should be taken from its example have been subject to debate. Instead of looking at this work as a mere model for the fusion of natural history and natural philosophy, it is also possible to see Bacon as trying to provide tentative solutions to outstanding questions regarding the wind, a topic that was deeply scrutinized during the early modern period. An examination of Bacon's provisional concluding rules reveals deep correspondences with earlier works, such as José de Acosta's , that revised classical understandings of the wind based on experience, experiments, and accounts of travels beyond Europe. Read More

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October 2020