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In A Science on the Scales, Jennifer M. Hubbard tells the story of how a new and emerging science - marine and fisheries biology - became an important enterprise in Canada. She uses extensive archival research - focussed on scientific correspondence and internal reports - and follows the science's development in Canada, as well as Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In so doing, Hubbard describes the important, but fraught, relationship between the economic and social history of Atlantic Canada and its relations with the federal government, particularly in the context of the generally low priority given fisheries issues.
Despite a variety of challenges, contributions made by the research organization that eventually became the Fisheries Research Board of Canada proved to be vital in the development of the science. Indeed, its flagship station, the Atlantic Biological Station in New Brunswick, became for a time one of the world's leading centres for marine science, its dynamic scientists and facilities providing the impetus that helped Canadian fisheries biology to achieve internationally recognized status. An original and timely work, A Science on the Scales shines a light on a heretofore-neglected aspect of Canada's science history.