C.A. (Karel) Davids is Professor of Economic and Social History at the Free University of Amsterdam. His research interests include global history; maritime history; history of technology, history of relations between humans and animals, c. 1500 – present. His most recent publication is, Religion, technology and the Great and the Little Divergences: China and Europe compared, c.700-1800 (Brill, Leiden 2012). He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.