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Additional sources for a prosopographic analysis of the careers of five border-settling astronomers of the eighteenth century

Grant number: 18/03506-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): April 28, 2018
Effective date (End): June 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Science
Principal Investigator:Thomas Augusto Santoro Haddad
Grantee:Otavio Crozoletti Costa
Supervisor: Henrique José Sampaio Soares de Sousa Leitão
Host Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia (CIUHCT), Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:16/17965-7 - Science and power in the Portuguese Empire: a prosopographic analysis of the trajectories of five border-settling astronomers of the eighteenth century, BP.MS


The main objective of this project is to collect and analyze historical sources that will supplement those already collected in the ongoing associated MSc research (FAPESP Process N. 2016/17965-7). The latter consists in the analysis of the relations between science and politics in the late-eighteenth century Portuguese empire, through a prosopographical approach to the careers of five astronomers involved in the settling of territorial borders stipulated by the Treaty of St. Ildefonso. They are, namely, Francisco José de Lacerda e Almeida, António Pires da Silva Pontes, Bento Sanches Dorta, Francisco de Oliveira Barbosa e José Simões de Carvalho. Besides their common condition of savants trained in mathematics at the University of Coimbra, some of them came to occupy important offices in the imperial administration. The ensemble analysis of their careers has been allowing us to identify the reciprocal influences between their connection to political powers and their possibilities of crowning successes as astronomers. In order to better accomplish the objectives of the MSc research, it is of paramount importance to collect additional sources in some Portuguese archives, which keep very relevant documents that will add to the corpus related to the five astronomers. The main component of this Foreign Research Grant is precisely the collection and analysis of these documents located in Portugal. Additionaly, the opportunity to discuss the ongoing research with of members of the target institution, the Inter-university Center for the History of Science and Technology (at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon), widely recognized as experts in the field, will be of great value to the completion of the dissertation. (AU)

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