Article ID: CBB354671456

Science funding under an authoritarian regime: Portugal's National Education Board and the European ‘academic landscape’ in the interwar period (2021)


This article enables an understanding of scientific practice and funding in a peripheral country ruled by a dictatorship in the interwar period, and thus provides the basis for comparison with studies of other non-democratic regimes. We examine the work of Portugal's Junta de Educação Nacional (National Education Board), which administered and provided funding for science from 1929 to 1936. Our findings show that this public body encouraged the participation of the Portuguese academic community in international science networks. This scenario contrasts with the dominant historiographical thesis that between the wars the Portuguese academic community did not play a role in international networks, and that it lacked state support. Also in contrast with the dominant historiography, whose ideological bias meant that a simplified picture was portrayed, whereas the reality is shown to be complex, this study demonstrates that the Portuguese dictatorial state sought to foster scientific progress through the Junta, but that resentment among academics and the resistance of universities to innovation meant that this objective was only partially achieved. Finally, the memory of a number of scientists has been rescued from oblivion, as we show how their political stance during the dictatorship led to their being ignored by historiographers when democracy prevailed.

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Authors & Contributors
Saraiva, Tiago
Ash, Mitchell G.
Orth, Karin
Oberkrome, Willi
Goncalves, Maria Eduarda
Wise, M. Norton
HOST: Journal of History of Science and Technology
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Science, Technology and Human Values
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
Journal of British Studies
Tinta da China
Brandes & Apsel
Franz Steiner Verlag
Harvard University Asia Center
Palgrave Macmillan
Science and politics
Science and government
Funding and finance
National Socialism
Correa da Serra, José Francisco
Davenant, Charles
Ramos, Agosto, da Costa
Vasconcellos, Ernesto Julio de Carvalho
Lacerda, Hugo de
Harper, Stephen
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
20th century, late
21st century
17th century
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Great Britian. Parliamentary and Scientific Committee

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