Argentine science in the nineteenth century

These days we celebrate the anniversary of the May Revolution (May 25, 1810), which means the formation of the first national government and the beginning of the path towards independence and the formation of the Argentine Republic as a state. Many historical events from that time are remembered, but little is known about the development of education and science since then.

At that time there was an important scientific development in the world, led by Charles Darwin (theory of evolution), Alessandro Volta (electricity), Antoine Lavoisier (chemistry), and James Watt (steam engine). Argentina will not be immune to this for long.

When we talk about the beginning of science and education in Argentina, we think of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who during his presidency founded the Argentine National Observatory (today the Cordoba Astronomical Observatory), and the Academy of Sciences of Cordoba, which is today the Argentine National Observatory (today the Cordoba Astronomical Observatory). National Weather Service, schools, popular libraries, etc. Although he was a great promoter of science and education, there had already been schools and universities before.

Long before the May Revolution, the National University of Cordoba (1610) and then the University of Buenos Aires (1821) were founded. Its work was quite unstable until the middle of the nineteenth century. At that time, studies of the exact and natural sciences merged and scientists began to arrive from other countries, especially from Europe and the United States. Until that moment, universities taught courses such as law, literature, and philosophy. In 1822 the National Academy of Medicine was established.

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This indicates that in the middle of the nineteenth century there was an important development in science in Argentina.

But not all scientific developments are the product of academic activity. There are sciences that are born of tradition and are often very rich. Some indigenous people had significant technological development regarding the use and management of water, whether for irrigation or domestic use, and had much knowledge of the heavens. They also achieved great development in agriculture and animal husbandry.

Perhaps the most curious thing is ancestral medicine. This activity follows the science method and there is nothing magical about it. It uses natural elements and a lot of spirituality and not only tries to relieve the symptoms, but also tries to attack the causes that lead to the various conditions. Ancestral medicine is being studied and its knowledge and products are currently being used based on natural medicine.

There is also family medicine, which is transmitted from generation to generation, and has its scientific basis. In some families it is still used.

The May Revolution and other subsequent events, which led to the building of our country, were much more than just political independence. With tremendous effort, Argentina began to advance in education and science, following its own ideas.

Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

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