Social and Cultural Studies on Natural Sciences and Health

Researcher in charge: Miguel Ángel Puig-Samper Mulero



The aim of this group is to study public health, psychiatry, the natural sciences and evolutionary theory from a historical perspective, highlighting relationships between the natural and social environments of Spain, Western Europe and Latin America. Research is divided into two areas.

1. History of medicine and health, which encompasses three sub-areas: history of psychiatric knowledge and care; medicine, public health, the environment and disease control; social dangers and the urban environment.

2. History of biology, geology and natural history. Sub-areas: environmental history of Europe and Latin America; history of evolutionary theory and Darwinism; history of palaeoanthropology and human evolution; interactions between science and religion; Jouneys and scientific expeditions.

The overall aim of the group is historical study of medicine and biology during the modern and contemporary era, with special emphasis on the history of science in Spain in relation to Western Europe and Latin America. Based on the methodological assumptions of social and cultural history, we propose to undertake study of specific areas of knowledge and scientific practice, focusing especially on their relationship with the natural and social environment.

The group’s specific aims are:

1. Study of medical and psychiatric knowledge in Spain, Europe and Latin America during the 19th and 20th centuries.
2. Study of psychiatry under the Republic and the Franco regime in relation to the international context.
3. Analysis of the scientific and legal shaping of social dangers in Spain, Europe and Latin America and the repercussions for safety policies.
4. Analysis of the theoretical and practical role of medicine and psychiatry in shaping contemporary subjectivity.
5. Environmental change in Europe and Latin American and its social impact.
6. Study of historical interactions between science and religion.
7. Study of classic Darwinism in Spain and Latin America.
8. Study of the major European scientific expeditions in the Spanish-speaking world.
9. European influence on biology and natural history in Spain.
10. Historic research about natural sciences and her dissemination.
11. History of Science and Scientific Culture.


Dept. of History of Science

Instituto de Historia (IH)

Research Groups