Da Junta de Educação Nacional (JEN) ao IAC e à JNICT: organização da ciência e política científica

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Only after May 28, 1926, with the instauration of a military dictatorship without any will for innovation in educational institutions — an area where the main rule was a sharp cut in expenses — did the minister of education decree in 1929 the creation of the Junta of National Education (JEN) [National Education Board]. From 1929-1930 onwards, dozens of graduates were able to undertake technical and scientific internships abroad and, in some cases, to start a scientific
career. JEN was the institution to implement the first steps for science organisation in the country. In 1936 JEN was reorganised and renamed Instituto para a Alta Cultura (IAC) [High Culture Institute], changing its relationship with the ministry in charge or its direction, the new Ministério da Educação National (MEN) [Ministry of National Education]. For 16 years, suffering all the effects
from World War II, 20 research centres were created. It was in these special institutions that the first generation of JEN/IAC grant holders returned from abroad started their work; Augusto Celestino da Costa was the leader of all this new scientific organisation. Despite several political interferences from the Estado Novo in the academic and scientific life of the country, the national scientific activity suffered a reasonable development. In the second half of the 20th century the scientific research and its technological applications assumed a very important role which forced
the Portuguese government to rebalance the organisation and support of pure and applied sciences research, which implied a restructuring of the IAC in 1952. With the increase in international collaboration with laboratories and research centres, the national participation needed a better planning and organisation of scientific and technical research in order to obtain greater effectiveness of means and objectives. IAC’s inability to achieve these purposes forced the government to launch a new agency directly dependent of the Prime Minister cabinet. In 1967 the Junta Nacional de Investigação Científica e Tecnológica (JNICT) [National Board of Scientific and Technological Research] was created. Francisco Leite Pinto was the Estado Novo central personality heading these transformations. JNICT’s life will be extended for almost another quarter of a
century after April 25, 1974, and it will give rise to the present Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) [Foundation for Science and Technology].
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationCiência, tecnologia e medicina na construção de Portugal
EditorsMaria Paula Diogo, Ana Simões
Place of PublicationLisboa
PublisherTinta da China
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)978-989-671-599-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Organisation of science
  • Francisco Leite Pinto
  • Scientific policy institutions
  • Junta de Educação Nacional
  • Instituto para a (de) Alta Cultura
  • Junta Nacional de Investigação Científica e Tecnológica
  • Grants / Grant holders
  • Augusto Celestino da Costa

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