Project Description

Our aim is to connect Brazilian and Swedish scholars to engage them in a discussion on global history of science. We study how knowledge travelled, and travels, globally from c. 1700 to the present. We pose, and try to answer questions, such as the following:

  • How did colonies and previous colonies of European powers interact scientifically with regions of Europe that were outside of the colonial orbit?
  • How could colonial centres be sidestepped, and their influence and the centrality of their position be subverted?
  • How should one proceed to study forms of knowledge that travelled on lesser-used paths and were elaborated in hidden or forgotten networks of actors?

The collaboration is centred around chemical and medical knowledge, but we keep it open-ended with regards to topics. Areas of interest to key researchers include the history of pharmacy, gymnastics, homeopathy, anthropology, anatomy, natural history, mining and alchemy/chemistry. Global exchanges of skills and objects played a crucial role in the shaping and development of all these fields. Hence topics such as these provide ample opportunities both for historical comparisons and studies of exchanges/circulation between far-flung geographical areas.

About the Project


The collaboration started in 2015 and include three environments:


Funding for the collaboration (original application entitled "The paths of chemical and medical knowledge between Europe and South America from the 18th to the 20th century") is provided by STINT (The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education) and the Brazilian agency CAPES/MEC (Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education).

Directors and Contact

For inquiries contact the program directors:

Joint Activities (since 2015)

  • 2018 (Mar.). Continued funding for two more years granted by CAPES and STINT.
  • 2017 (Oct. 14-24). Brazilian program director Silvia Waisse come to Sweden to discuss continuation of collaboration and to conduct research at Karolinska Institutet.
  • 2017 (Jul. 30- Aug. 2). Swedish program director Hjalmar Fors visit Sao Paulo to attend the 20th anniversary of CESIMA,  discuss continuation of collaboration and to give a paper.
  • 2017 (Jul. 23-29). Nineteen South American and European scholars come together in Rio de Janeiro at a one-day symposium organized by the collaboration. It is entitled De-centered science for real? : Transits of mining chemistry, medicine and natural history in Europe and Latin America. The symposium is held as a part of the 25th International Congress of History of Science and Technology.
  • 2016-2017 (Oct. 1- Jan. 31). Raphael Uchoa, PhD-student at CESIMA come to Sweden for an extended stay at the dept. for history of science and ideas, Uppsala.
  • 2016 (Oct. 15-22). Brazilian program director Silvia Waisse come to Sweden and gives papers at Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institutet. In conjunction with the  visit a second workshop is held at the Office for History of Science, Uppsala.
  • 2015 (Nov. 15-24). Five researchers from Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet visits Sao Paulo and attend a first workshop at CESIMA.