Creating Networks in Chemistry: The Founding and Early History of Chemical Societies in Europe
Chapter 12: PORTUGAL: Tackling a Complex Chemical Equation: The Portuguese Society of Chemistry, 1911–1926
Published:10 Apr 2008
Vanda Leitão, Ana Carneiro, Ana Simões, 2008. "PORTUGAL: Tackling a Complex Chemical Equation: The Portuguese Society of Chemistry, 1911–1926", Creating Networks in Chemistry: The Founding and Early History of Chemical Societies in Europe, Anita Kildebæk Nielsen, Sona Strbanova
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The Sociedade Chimica Portugueza (Portuguese Society of Chemistry – SCP) emerged in the early twentieth century, following the creation of the Laboratorio Municipal de Chimica do Porto (Municipal Laboratory of Chemistry of Oporto – LMCP) and a scientific journal. The process leading to its foundation followed a path opposed to the one leading to the creation of various chemical societies in mid-nineteenth-century Europe, in which the society came first, and the journal ensued afterwards.1 Two other differences oppose the national and the international cases. The SCP emerged outside the capital city, Lisbon, in Oporto, a dynamic northern city with a strong tradition in trade, agriculture and industry, in which Port wine has played a central role. Furthermore, after the first 15 years of its existence, the society lost its autonomous status, and incorporated physicists among its members and changed its name accordingly. Despite the time span covered by most contributions to this volume, this chapter focuses on the period extending from the creation of the SCP, in 1911, right after the establishment of the I Republic (1911–1926), until its transformation into the Sociedade Portuguesa de Química e de Física (Portuguese Society of Chemistry and Physics – SPQF) in 1926. Given the particular circumstances which surrounded its creation, in close association with the LMCP and a pre-existing journal, special attention is given to these genetic factors. They are therefore part and parcel of the process of the creation of the SCP, and for this reason they will be given special emphasis.