Article ID: CBB000932112

Einstein in Portugal: Eddington's Expedition to Principe and the Reactions of Portuguese Astronomers (1917--25) (2009)


Among various case studies addressing the reception of relativity, very few deal with Portugal at either the international or the national level. The national literature on the topic has mainly concentrated on the reactions to relativity of the Portuguese mathematical community. The absence of Portuguese astronomers alongside Eddington during the 1919 expedition to Principe, then a Portuguese island, has been implicitly equated with the astronomical community's lack of interest in the event. In reception studies dealing with general relativity, analysis has tended to focus on the physics and mathematics communities, less on the astronomers. Given that relativity was born at the interface of physics, mathematics and astronomy, reactions of members of these scientific communities depended on differences in shared traditions, values, problems and expectations, as well as on individual practitioners' idiosyncrasies. This paper addresses the contributions of the overlooked Portuguese astronomical community, evaluates the actions and reactions of its members to the expedition and assesses their role in the process of appropriation of relativity.

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Authors & Contributors
Stanley, Matthew
Sponsel, Alistair William
Batten, Alan H.
Hentschel, Klaus
Crelinsten, Jeffrey
Gangui, Alejandro
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
British Journal for the History of Science
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Science in Context
科学史研究 Kagakusi Kenkyu (History of Science)
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Princeton University Press
Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra
University of Washington
Harvard University
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Scientific communities; interprofessional relations
Scientific expeditions
Relativity, general
Eddington, Arthur Stanley
Einstein, Albert
Jeans, James Hopwood
Dyson, Freeman John
Freundlich, Erwin Finlay
Ishihara, Jun
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
Meiji period (Japan, 1868-1910)
19th century
Taisho period (Japan, 1912-1926)
21st century
Great Britain
United States
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Universidad de Buenos Aires

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