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Title: The 'Portuguese Forestry Community' and Research Fellows abroad between 1915 and 1945
Authors: Pereda, Ignacio García
Matos, Ana Cardoso de
Keywords: Mobilidade de "experts"
transferência de Tecnologia
engenheiros agronómos
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Arquivo Delfim Santos
Citation: Ignacio García Pereda e Ana Cardoso de Matos: “The 'Portuguese Forestry Community' and Research Fellows abroad between 1915 and 1945”, Delfim Santos Studies. Revista de estudos delfinianos, no 1, nº1, 2013, pp.160-171 [ISSN 2182-5653 (printed) 2182-5661 (online)]
Abstract: One of the areas of greatest interest to a researcher in the field of the history of technology are studies done on the process of appropriating new scientific theories and technologies in countries that can be classified as peripheral in terms of their scientific output. Peripheral countries have been usually classified as those whose academic community is distanced from advanced centers in terms of the research they produce and that have participated to a lesser extent in the process of technical development [SAIZ 2003, 223-245]. This article will attempt to reflect on the process of international technology transfer in the 20th Century, specifically between 1915 and 1946. During this period, the achievement and spread of technological innovations were vital to the development of Portuguese forestry. In less developed European countries such as Portugal, the transfer of foreign technical knowledge was more important than that generated within the nation itself. External technological transfer became an essential factor, without which there would have been no push toward the professionalization of this new profession. Portugal was a country in the periphery of European science and technology. This situation has translated into an external technological dependence in several economic sectors. Reports on travels of learning have become one of the main sources for research in Science and Technology History. The new works of these young engineers will be taken as a valid, albeit only partial, indicator of the direction and structure of the processes of innovation in the Portuguese forestry. Among other things, the degree of Portuguese dependence upon external technology, as well as which countries played an essential role in the transfer of technology; and which scientific specialties depended most on foreign technology can be ascertained. One of the most serious problems confronting any researcher interested in forestry innovation is the evaluation of travels’ importance as a technological indicator of investment tendencies in new technologies. The various means of innovation in an economy are well-known: advances in productive processes can be invented and incorporated, just as they can be imported directly from another country using foreign technicians in their construction. Only innovations that are applied, put into practice and remain productive can be considered as such. From our point of view, new technologies brought by forestry students from abroad are not only a partial technical indicator, but are also, depending on whether or not they are put in practice, an important indicator of those tendencies in new technologies. In general, the decision to send Portuguese students to international technological centers is based on expected profits from the new techniques to be imported, and how complex the new technology is. Taking into account the advantage that travels of learning provide as a source of study (as a consequence of the existence of some kind of travel reports), it is surprising that they have not been used more often as raw material for forest history research. Here, as already mentioned, we can draw valid conclusions and extrapolate them to the process of forestry renewal in Portugal. This permits an understanding of the nature and direction of technological changes, the structure of the transfer and the importance of outside technology. This study is based on a sample of articles found in various agronomy and forestry reviews. Bulletins has served, from its inception, as the agronomy and forestry students' official bulletin (Boletim Agros), in which travel reports were customarily published. With time we will look for all the foresters’ information in the Arquivo Histórico do Instituto Camões. We will study the cases of the following fellows: Mário Azevedo Gomes (USA, 1915), Joaquim Vieira Natividade (UK, 1931), Francisco Santos Hall (USA and Germany, 1931), Francisco Caldeira Cabral (Germany, 1936), Francisco Mimoso Flores (USA, 1936) and Carlos Manuel Baeta Neves (Spain, 1946).
Type: article
Appears in Collections:HIS - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Nacionais Com Arbitragem Científica
CIDEHUS - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Nacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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