Modern Scientific Thought in Santa Fe, Quito, and Caracas, 1736–1803

  • Article
  • 30 pages
  • Level: university

This paper by Luis Carlos Arboleda and Diana Soto Arango was included in a collection of articles published by the University of Texas Press in 2006 under the title Science in Latin America: A History, edited by Juan José Saldaña. Arboleda and Arango focus on interest in Copernican and Newtonian ideas in Santa Fe, Quito, and Caracas in Latin America in the latter two-thirds of the 18th century, especially at Jesuit-, Dominican-, and state-run universities. They write that these scientific ideas, which held the promise of yielding practical benefits to society, were introduced by scientifically-inclined priests. However, the reception of these ideas was complicated by politics. The authors write that,

[The Spanish Crown] had correctly noticed that, behind the teaching of new theories that aimed at practical applications, there lay the interests of the social-climbing elite and the subversion of the colonial order.

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