restricted access Enlightened Secrets: Silk, Intelligent Travel, and Industrial Espionage in Eighteenth-Century France

The paper offers a critical assessment of the notion of industrial espionage by examining the cultures of openness and secrecy in the context of silk manufacture in Enlightenment France. By analyzing the practices of dissimulation and secrecy employed by the abbé Nollet during his journey aimed at gathering technical information on the manufacture of silk in Italy, the author introduces the category of intelligent travel to provide a nuanced discussion of the relationship between technology transfer, state secrecy and academic openness.