The National Museum, Politics, and Nation Building in Brazil
For the first time in English, Brazil’s leading environmental historian, Regina Horta Duarte, brings us a nuanced analysis of the National Museum of Brazil’s contribution to that country’s formation and history. In Activist Biology, Duarte explores the careers of three of these scientists as they leveraged biology as a strategy for change. Devoted to educational initiatives, they organized exhibits, promoted educational film and radio, wrote books, published science communication magazines, fostered school museums, and authored textbooks for young people. Their approach was transdisciplinary, and their reliance on multimedia formats was pioneering.
Capturing a crucial period in Brazil’s history, this portrait of science as a creative and potentially transformative pathway will intrigue anyone fascinated by environmental history, museums, and the history of science. Duarte skillfully shows how Brazilian science furthered global scientific knowledge in ways that are relevant now more than ever.
“Offers a new perspective for understanding a critical moment of Brazilian history, when the country was going through a period of self-discovery and nation building.”—The Americas
“This is one of the first historical studies of its kind that moves into the mid-twentieth century and explores what happened to these institutions as natural history was replaced by more specialized disciplines.”—Stuart McCook, author of States of Nature: Science, Agriculture, and Environment in the Spanish Caribbean, 1760–1940