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From silver to platinum: Spanish science and sovereignty in the 8th century

Grant number: 19/03707-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Science
Principal researcher:Denise Aparecida Soares de Moura
Grantee:Patricia dos Santos de Carvalho
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Franca. Franca , SP, Brazil


The Bourbon era in Spain evolved a series of basic reforms since the administrative sector to the scientific production, with the implementation of academies and offices of sciences, promotion of scientific expeditions and reception of foreign sages to work in Spanish territory. The Bourbon administration represents a turning point in the history of Hispanic science. It is within this context that the figure of Antonio de Ulloa - a career military man and a curious enlightened - member of the Geodesic Mission of 1735 and responsible for the discovery of platinum, he was an active person in the process of reformulation of Hispanic science. I suspect that his scientific efforts after the discovery of platinum and during the reigns of Philip V and Charles III served as a start for a possible expansion of the area of study of mineralogy undertaken by the Bourbon monarchy; as well as greater recognition of Hispanic science in the European illustrated circle. In order to achieve the objectives proposed by this work, I will make use of the works of Ulloa, Noticias Americanas [1772] and Relación histórica del viage a la América Meridional... [1748], of letters and royal orders addressed to Ulloa during his government in Louisiana, of periodical dissertations in the area of mineralogy, such as Guillermo Bowles's Introducción a la Historia Natural y a la Geografia Física de Espanha [1775], of the letter of William Brownring Several Papers Concerning Semi-Metal, called Platinum [1750] and of periodicals located in the Hemeroteca Nacional da Espanha making mention to the platinum. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
CARVALHO, Patricia dos Santos de. From silver to platinum: science and Hispanic sovereignty in the 18th century. 2021. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais. Franca Franca.

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