Da Escola Politécnica e da Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (FCUL) was created in 1911 following the implantation of the Republic on 5 October 1910. The new Faculty occupied the premises used along the 19th century by the Polytechnic School of Lisbon (1837-1911), an institution which materialized the ideals of monarchical liberalism and the importance it bestowed on the training of a scientific and technical (mostly military) elite able to lead the modernization of the country. Portuguese scientific institutions have been tightly bound to specific political contexts and to the scientific and technological agendas of the country’s political elite. However, there has often been claimed that there was a smooth and continuous transition from the Polytechnic School to the Faculty of Sciences in terms of scientific and technical research agendas, elite training, and relations to other institutions in Portugal or abroad. In this chapter we want to assess to what extent this received view does or does not hold. We analyse the life of the Faculty of Sciences during two different periods - the I Republic (1911-1926) and the onset of a fascist regime (1926-1974). We will pay special attention to continuities and discontinuities with the Polytechnic School, including a discussion of the profile of their academics, technical staff and students, training characteristics and teaching reforms, role of research within university’s walls and organizational idiosyncrasies. We will also discuss the interaction of the Faculty of Sciences with other institutions such as the Technical Institute (1911), a rival Republican twin creation in charge of the training of engineers, and its subsequent relationship with the emerging state laboratories which shaped the fascist landscape. Finally the role and characteristics of the Laboratory of Physics, a physics research school which emerged at the Faculty of Sciences, will be used as a critical example to stress similarities and differences to research schools in European centres.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationA Universidade de Lisboa: séculos XIX e XX
Editorsde Matos S Campos, do Ó J Ramos
Place of PublicationLisboa
PublisherTinta da China
ISBN (Print)978-989-671-145-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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