Historical Evolution of Science and Technology - Colonial Science
A brief, historical sketch explains how Brazil's research and development
institutions were shaped. In very broad terms, this history can
be divided into seven periods, some of which overlap.
"Colonial science" covered the period from the discovery
of Brazil by the Portuguese in 1500 until the beginning of the nineteenth
century. Contrary to what happened in many regions of Spanish America,
the Portuguese did not bring their universities to the New World.
Whatever existed in terms of scientific research in those years
was done by European explorers, who incorporated their findings
in the European collections of natural history. Economic activities
in those years were restricted to the production of sugar, gold,
and coffee; slave labor existed almost to the end of the nineteenth
century, and work tended to be labor- and land-intensive and unskilled.
Data as of April 1997