For centuries, novelists, politicians, investors, and tourists have looked at Latin America and the Caribbean as an extraordinary place of natural wealth and diverse human populations. Similarly, scientists and explorers have imagined the region as a set of rich natural landscapes — sites ripe for exploration and study. Recent scholarship has begun to uncover the complex ways in which Latin America and the Caribbean histories of science are not only interesting as narratives of scientific exploration of exotic locations on the periphery, but are instead central to our understanding of the global history of science since at least 1492. As the sources and texts in HOSLAC show, Latin American people, places, and objects have been integral to our modern understanding of slavery, colonialism, geology, medicine, and the human and social sciences.
The goal of HOSLAC, then, is to introduce to scholarly and public audiences to the global phenomenon of science in its distinct Latin American contexts. While there is no singular, grand narrative of Latin American and Caribbean science, a few themes emerge from the sources collected in this database.
HOSLAC is organized into Topics that are organized approximately chronologically, but each one stands alone. The archive, or database of primary sources, is designed in a modular fashion, so viewers from a variety of fields can use small units or large units to fit their classroom or research needs. As a teaching resource, individual sources or topics can be assigned as study material and used in classroom lectures and discussions. The website is available to general audiences as well.
The History of Science in Latin America and the Caribbean is an NSF Funded project under the supervision of Prof. Julia E. Rodriguez at the University of New Hampshire.
This site was made possible by National Science Foundation CAREER Grant #0547125.
Additional support was provided by the University of New Hampshire History Department and the UNH Office of Sponsored Research.
Images and primary sources courtesy of the following organizations:
History Department HOSLAC
20 Academic Way Horton Social Science Center