Country Listing

Brazil Table of Contents


Historical Evolution

A brief, historical sketch explains how Brazil's research and development institutions were shaped. In very broad terms, this history can be divided into seven periods, some of which overlap.

Colonial Science

"Colonial science" covered the period from the discovery of Brazil by the Portuguese in 1500 until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Contrary to what happened in many regions of Spanish America, the Portuguese did not bring their universities to the New World. Whatever existed in terms of scientific research in those years was done by European explorers, who incorporated their findings in the European collections of natural history. Economic activities in those years were restricted to the production of sugar, gold, and coffee; slave labor existed almost to the end of the nineteenth century, and work tended to be labor- and land-intensive and unskilled.

Data as of April 1997