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Science in Agriculture and Health of Brazil

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Brazil Science in Agriculture and Health

Applied Science in Agriculture and Health
The "applied science in agriculture and health" period covers the first decades of the republic, from 1889 to the mid-1930s. As a republic, Brazil became more decentralized. The country's economic pole shifted gradually to São Paulo State--the center of coffee production and the destination of massive European immigration, second only to Buenos Aires in Latin America. Most of the new higher education and research institutions in those years were created in the city of São Paulo. They addressed the two main areas of concern in those years: public health, particularly the sanitation of the country's main port cities, Santos and Rio de Janeiro; and agricultural research. The main São Paulo State institutions from those years were the Agronomic Institute of Campinas (Instituto Agronômico de Campinas), the Biological Institute for Animal Protection (Instituto Biológico de Defesa Animal), the Butantan Institute (Instituto Butantan) for snake-venom research, the Geological Commission of São Paulo State (Comissão Geológica do Estado de São Paulo), and the Vaccine Institute (Instituto Vacinogênico). Also during this period, the scientific professions expanded and tried to find their place in the modernization of Brazilian society.

The most significant scientific institution in this period, however, was the Manguinhos Institute (Instituto Manguinhos), now the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz) in Rio de Janeiro. This institute played a central role in the control of tropical diseases, such as yellow fever, malaria, and parasitic diseases. It developed important research lines in zoological fields such as helminthology (worms) and entomology (insects), and its researchers were the first to identify the full etiology of Chagas' disease. The Manguinhos Institute provided the link between Brazilian researchers and the international scientific community. Most of Brazil's leading scientists in human biology, public health, and related fields were trained there. The Manguinhos Institute's success is attributed to the ability of its leadership to combine a clear sense of short-term objectives with a commitment to the values of scholarship and research.

Data as of April 1997



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