Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 23 items for :

  • History of Knowledge x
Clear All
Open access

Ignacio Suay-Matallana

Abstract

This paper focuses on how two Spanish chemists—Antonio Casares Rodríguez (1812–1888), and his son José Casares Gil (1866–1961)—constructed their expertise in chemical analysis in modern Spain. It considers both their family connections and local networks as crucial elements in the consolidation of their scientific authority, as well as the importance of travels and textbook writing, in shaping expertise in places usually considered peripheral. Finally, this article shows how both experts were able to circulate between different spaces, notably the laboratory and the field, in this case natural springs and spas; the university and governmental committees and institutions, in this way forging new possibilities for the consolidation of analytical chemistry as a scientific discipline in Spain.

Open access

Poisons, trials and experts:

Pere Mata i Fontanet (1811–1877) and Spanish nineteenth-century toxicology

Mar Cuenca-Lorente

Abstract

Pere Mata i Fontanet (1811–1877) was the most important Spanish toxicologist in the nineteenth-century. However, he remained an invisible character outside Spanish borders. He was the author of the most influential Spanish treatise on legal medicine and toxicology, which had six editions but was never translated. His treatises did not include experimental results but rather a rhetorical discussion and a place where he discussed and claimed for changes to be made in those new sciences. His participation in famous trials such as poisoning cases contributed to increase his claimed authority as an expert. This paper will show that it was precisely during those trials, when experts had to face the puzzling questions of lawyers and jurors, that toxicology was built.

Open access

Adriana Minor and Joel Vargas-Domínguez

Abstract

This article focuses on scientist-diplomats that are the scientists who serve as national representatives and consultants for discussions on scientific and technical issues in international organizations. We examine two exemplary cases of Mexican scientist-diplomats: Francisco de Paula Miranda and Manuel Sandoval Vallarta, experts in nutrition and atomic energy, respectively. We discuss especially how they became involved as experts in the international arena, and we analyse the feedback process of construction of their scientific and diplomatic authority. Furthermore, we consider the interaction of interests (disciplinary, professional, local, and global) that they represented and negotiated.

Open access

Introduction:

Science and Expertise in modern societies

Ignacio Suay-Matallana and José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez

Open access

Fertilising Farms and Institutional Authorities:

Experts, Regime-Making and Agricultural Politics in Greece, 1945–2000

Stathis Arapostathis

Abstract

The article studies the politics of expertise and the co-production of sociotechnical imaginaries, expertise identities and public policies in agriculture and the use of fertilisers in Greece between the years 1945 and 2000. By applying the concept of the co-productionist idiom, the processes of appropriation will be studied and dynamic processes in postwar Greece are demonstrated. The study argues that experts functioned not only as mediators but as promoters and shapers of sociotechnical imaginaries in Greece, and that they directed specific policies in promoting or controlling the use of fertilisers: particularly nitrogen (N) fertilisers. Until 1990, experts had the power and the authority to politically and socially legitimise the use of intense fertilisation. In the years since 1990, the experts’ role was configured by transnational political pressures from the European Union that shaped the experts’ consensus on the harmful effects of agriculture malpractice and the overuse of nitrogen fertilisers. Yet still while an environmentally friendly agriculture paradigm was sought the dominant public discourse promoted by experts in Greece still prioritised accuracy and rational use.

Open access

Expert at a distance

Barbosa du Bocage and the production of scientific knowledge on Africa

Catarina Madruga

Abstract

The career of José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage (1823‒1907) as director of the Zoological Section of the Museu Nacional de Lisboa (National Museum of Lisbon) followed by the presidency of the Society of Geography of Lisbon is presented in this paper as an example of transfer of expertise between scientific fields, specifically from zoology to geography. Additionally, it explores the connection between scientific credit and political recognition, in the sense of the conflation of Bocage’s taxonomical and zoogeographical work with the colonial agenda of his time. Although Bocage himself never visited Africa, he was part of a generation of Africanists who were members of the Portuguese elite dedicated to African matters and considered exemplary custodians of the political and diplomatic Portuguese international position regarding its African territories.