Geógrafos, naturalistas e ingenieros en México, siglos XVIII al XXLuz Fernanda Azuela y Rodrigo Vega (coord.)
This book analyzes and interprets the historical memory produced by naturalists, geographers, engineers and others (from the mid-18th century to 1940). These professionals propitiate the creation of institutions and the organization of research projects related to geography and natural history. .
Throughout the text, the heterogeneity of the conceptions about the socio-professional profile of the «actors of science» is revealed. This is the case of the first chapter, “The healers of eighteenth-century New Spain: an outline of their epistemic and social legitimacy,” which integrates the knowledge of the eighteenth-century New Spain healers into the historiography of science. The perception by viceregal doctors and officials about the work of curanderismo is examined and emphasis is placed on the assessment of local knowledge about health care in the social sphere and outlines the features of its epistemic contents.
On the other hand, the book also addresses the study of mineral resources within the Mexican scientific and business imaginary. In the second chapter, it is analyzed how the copper resources, of high demand towards the end of the 18th century, existing in the Michoacan territory, became an important research laboratory of their geological and mineralogical nature based on their economic possibilities.
Thus, this volume contributes to the understanding of the activities undertaken by the so-called Mexican and foreign “science developers” from the colonial period to the mid-twentieth century in Mexico.