A SPACE FOR SCIENCE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY
IN BRAZIL, by Simon Schwartzman. x + 286 Pp.' tables, app., bibl., index.
Revised translation. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991.
J. McClellan Ill, Stevens Institute or Technology,
Published in Choice, October, 1992
Not just a translation of Schwartzman's 1979 study of the development of scientific
community [sic] in Brazil, the present work has been updated and recast especially
for an English language audience. No book length study in English so comprehensively
covers the history and politics of the natural sciences in Brazil, and this work
will be welcomed by historians of various stripes, political scientists and policy
makers. Part I narrates a multifaceted history of science and scientific institutions
in Brazil from colonial roots through the creation of the Universidade de São
Paulo in 1934. Part II continues the narration past the restoration of civilian
rule in 1985 and adds a prosopographical study of three "generations"
of Brazilian scientists, drawn from 56 oral history interviews. The book’s emphasis
on the period from the 1930s, and the author’s policy perspective shape the presentation.
he argues for pure science as an undervalued key for Brazil's further modernization
and in so doing he relies on J. Ben-David's normative (and to this reviewer dated)
concept of "scientific role." Thus the account is a whiggish one of
small successes and disheartening failures, rather than a more balanced analysis
of pure and applied science in a developing country. Still, the hook presents
a wide range of fascinating material and will be the starting point for further