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1. The Phosphorus Apparatus

Phosphorus is the fifteenth element of the periodic table of elements, and was the thirteenth to be discovered by science. Like the oxygen in the air we breathe and the water we drink, phosphorus makes us up in the flesh. Without it, all living things would perish. Unlike oxygen, however, phosphorus is relatively rare within our everyday environments. This makes phosphorus life-limiting and arguably the most precious of all mineral resources.

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Gregory T. Cushman

University of Kansas

Gregory T. Cushman is Associate Professor of International Environmental History at the University of Kansas. His research interests include Latin America; history of science and technology; the Pacific World; indigenous peoples and global history. His book Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World: A Global Ecological History (Cambridge 2013) has won four international awards. He is the recent recipient of a Carnegie Fellowship to research the historical roots of the Anthropocene.