Perspectives on Contemporary History of Science in Portugal

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The task of writing about historiography of science in a European periphery such as Portugal is particularly difficult due to the unavailability of a systematic inventory of sources for the history of science. In this paper we select a group of 20(th)-century sources, having in view the extended timeline available to the sorts of questions which can be posed to the historical material. We opted to analyze representative probes for four different categories of sources: a journal (1937-1951); the proceedings of a congress organized in the context of a commemorative event (1940); the works of two historians of science (1950s onward); and finally commemorative volumes celebrating the anniversary of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon (1986, 1992). Besides briefly describing authors' profiles, professional backgrounds, historical periods and scientific areas covered, we discuss the type of historical account produced. We conclude with a brief overview of the state of the discipline in the past fifteen years bearing in mind historiographical orientations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-263
Number of pages27
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • historiography
  • science in Portugal
  • 20th-century sources


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