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Antoni Quintana-Marí (1907–1998): A Pioneer of the Use of History of Science in Science Education

In the early 1930s, the young Antoni Quintana-Marí undertook some research on Antoni de Martí i Franquès, one of the most prominent Catalan scientists of the Enlightenment. This scientist worked in Tarragona, where Quintana-Marí lived. Quintana-Marí
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  Antoni Quintana-Marı´ (1907–1998): A Pioneer of the Useof History of Science in Science Education Antoni Roca-Rosell  • Pere Grapı´-Vilumara Published online: 6 March 2010   Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010 Abstract  In the early 1930s, the young Antoni Quintana-Marı´ undertook some researchon Antoni de Martı´ i Franque`s, one of the most prominent Catalan scientists of theEnlightenment. This scientist worked in Tarragona, where Quintana-Marı´ lived. Quintana-Marı´ learnt about Martı´ i Franque`s from Josep Estalella, his teacher of physics andchemistry at the secondary school. It was while researching on Martı´ i Franque`s thatQuintana-Marı´ became a true historian of science. He subsequently collaborated with otherSpanish and foreign historians of science in the early years of this discipline. Quintana-Marı´ never forgot that his passion for history of science had been aroused by his schoolteacher. 1 Between Chemistry and History of Science Antoni Quintana-Marı´ was born in 1907 in Tarragona (Roca-Rosell and Nieto Galan2000). Tarragona, which is situated on the Mediterranean coast, has an important harbourand is the centre of a rich agricultural and industrial zone. Quintana-Marı´ studied at theInstituto de Tarragona, the only state secondary school in this province, where he metteachers such as Josep Estalella, a promoter of the renewal of science education in Spain(Casassas 1995). Estalella wrote down historical notes in his textbooks of Physics andChemistry. In his classes, he never failed to mention that the scientist who obtained the bestmeasurement of the composition of air in late XVIII century was born at Altafulla, nearTarragona, and worked in laboratories that were installed at his residences at Altafullaand Tarragona. The name of this gentleman-scientist was Antoni de Martı´ i Franque`s(1750–1832).Antoni Quintana-Marı´ completed his secondary education and started work as achemical assistant in a company of import–export of wine and olive oil in his city. At the A. Roca-Rosell ( & )Universitat Polite`cnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spaine-mail: Antoni.Roca-Rosell@upc.eduP. Grapı´-VilumaraCatalan Society for the History of Science and Technology, Barcelona, Spain  1 3 Sci & Educ (2010) 19:925–929DOI 10.1007/s11191-010-9241-3  same time, he collaborated with his former teacher, Estalella, as a part time teacher at theInstituto. Moreover, he studied to become a primary school teacher, which was possiblewith a secondary school certificate. Subsequently, he enrolled in the Faculty of Sciences of Barcelona to study Chemistry, as ‘‘estudiante libre’’, i.e. a student following the academiccourses without attending classes, only taking the final exams.While engaged in these activities, Quintana learnt quite by chance that the legacy of Martı´ i Franque`s was on the point of being consigned to the rubbish dump and decided togo to Altafulla, to salvage the material and study it. He found an important library, someinstruments from the laboratories, the Diary of Martı´ i Franque`s, some correspondence, acollection of plants, etc. He managed to salvage all this material, which was donated to themunicipalities of Tarragona and Altafulla some decades later. Meanwhile, Quintana-Marı´took care of the collection and in 1932 organised an exhibition, which was accompanied bya series of lectures on the scientific contributions of Martı´ i Franque`s. The young Quintana-Marı´ convinced his former teacher, Estalella, to take part in the commemoration, andprobably because of his support other prominent science teachers of the universities of Barcelona and Madrid participated. Some of these teachers, such as Enric Moles thechemistry teacher, showed a special interest in history of science (Moles 1934).The commemoration of 1932 was included in a special issue of   Cie`ncia , which con-tained historical analyses on Martı´ i Franque`s by some of the participants (Quintana-Marı´et al. 1932). Quintana-Marı´ subsequently prepared an edition of some relevant memoirs of Martı´ i Franque`s, including a biographical study. This work was awarded a prize by theInstitut d’Estudis Catalans and was published in 1935 by the Reial Acade`mia de Cie`ncies iArts de Barcelona (Quintana-Marı´ 1935a). These publications on Martı´ i Franque`sattracted the attention of Aldo Mieli, who used to spend his holidays in Spain. Mieli andQuintana-Marı´ met in Tarragona in 1933. Aldo Mieli, the secre´taire perpe´tuel of theAcade´mie Internationale d’Histoire de Sciences, who belonged to a pioneering group of historians of science, contributed to the promotion of this discipline in the world (Fox2006). Quintana-Marı´ also made contact with He´le`ne Metzger, and George Sarton.Spain had joined the international movement for history of science in the first decadesof the twentieth century (Roca-Rosell 1991). At that time, the policy of the Acade´mie wasnot only to appoint members but also to obtain support from active groups in manycountries. The Acade´mie was strongly influenced by Aldo Mieli, whose proposal in 1928was received at first with some scepticism, but was finally accepted by the internationalcommunity of historians of science, including He´le`ne Metzger, George Sarton, CharlesSinger and others (Fox 2006). The Spanish Group of the Acade´mie was constituted in1931. Most of its members were Arabists who were dedicated to the study of the legacy of Al-Andalus. Quintana-Marı´ joined the Spanish Group in 1933. He met some Catalancolleagues, such as the university professor Josep M. Milla`s-Vallicrosa, a specialist inArabic and Hebraic history, who was studying the exact sciences in Catalonia in theMiddle ages. 1 2 The Disputes of 1933–1934 The Spanish Group was involved in a series of disputes in 1933–1934. Nevertheless, thisperiod began auspiciously. In fact, the III International Congress of History of Science wasto be held in Berlin in 1934. However, the Acade´mie decided to change the venue after the 1 On Josep M. Milla`s Vallicrosa, see Glick (1977) and Roca-Rosell (2003). 926 A. Roca-Rosell, P. Grapı´-Vilumara  1 3  Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933. Mieli offered the task of organizing the Con-gress to the Spanish Group and this proposal was accepted. Mieli wanted the congress toreflect the diversity of Spain with sessions in Barcelona, Salamanca, Madrid and Toledo,including an extraordinary session in Portugal, i.e. Mieli had in mind a true Iberian cel-ebration. However, the mathematician Francisco Vera, who was the secretary of theSpanish Group, had planned to hold the celebration exclusively in Madrid. This and otherpoints of disagreement led to a dramatic decision in February 1934: Mieli dissolved theSpanish Group, and charged the Portuguese Group with the organisation of the Congress.Some weeks after, the Acade´mie recognised a Catalan Section of the Acade´mie. TheCatalan  Section  was to prepare the constitution of a new Spanish Group of the Acade´mie.In the meantime, the existence of a Catalan Section meant the recognition of the work of Catalan historians of science. The president of the Section was the Mayor of the Universityof Barcelona, the vice-president was Milla`s-Vallicrosa, and the Secretary, Antoni Quin-tana-Marı´ (Roca-Rosell 1993). The Section continued until 1936, when the Spanish CivilWar broke out.Quintana-Marı´ jointed the Republican Army. He left his apartment in Barcelona afterputting a plaque on the door with the words: ‘‘Propie´te´ de l’Acade´mie Internationaled’Histoire des Sciences’’, together with the French flag. Thus, the Martı´ i Franque`s legacyand the private collection of Quintana-Marı´, which were in his apartment, remained safeuntil the end of the war. After spending time in a concentration camp in Santander,Quintana-Marı´ return to his apartment in Barcelona, and removed the plaque, given thatFrench symbols were viewed with hostility by the Francoists. Quintana-Marı´ wanted toresume his work as a historian of science under the Franco regime, but this was notpossible. He therefore taught in private schools and finally took a degree in Chemistry.Thereafter, he specialized in cerealistic chemistry, which he introduced to Spain. Quintana-Marı´ was able to resume his work as historian after retiring in 1977. He organised anothercongress on Martı´ i Franque`s in Tarragona in 1982. He was one of the founders of theCatalan Society for the History of Science and Technology in 1991, of which he became anhonorary member. Antoni Quintana-Marı´ died after a short illness in 1998, leaving animportant legacy to the historiography of science in Catalonia and Spain. 3 The Seminar in the University of Barcelona 1934–1935. The Paper in  Archeion (1935) In 1933, Quintana joined the Pedagogical Seminar of the University of Barcelona directedby Jaume Serra-Hu´nter. As a result, it was no longer necessary for him to work as aprimary school teacher, which considerably facilitated his research activities in History of Science. In 1934 Quintana-Marı´ directed a seminar on the pedagogical values of History of Science. The paper in  Archeion  of 1935 is certainly a result of this seminar. Moreover, wefound a long typescript of Quintana on the same subject, another product of the seminar.His analysis of the application of history of science to education was influenced by his ownexperience, and also by his training as a primary school teacher.His paper in  Archeion  (1935) was entitled ‘‘Valor de la Historia de la Ciencia comomedio de Educacio´n Integral y Especı´fica del Individuo’’ [Value of History of Science as ameans of integral and specific education of the individual] (Quintana-Marı´ 1935b).Quintana-Marı´ begins by affirming that science constitutes the main value of our culture.He alludes to the notions of George Sarton and Max Scheler and follows the theory of education of the German philosopher Eduard Spranger. For Quintana-Marı´, scientific value Antoni Quintana-Marı´ 927  1 3  is the synthesis of social values. He points out the close link between science and philo-sophical thinking and, in the words of Auguste Comte, the highest phase of human thoughtis history of science. This discipline is therefore, the true history of culture.According to George Sarton, History of Science has three central values: scientificvalue, psycho-sociological value and pedagogical value. History of Science, after Otswald,provides us with hypotheses, results, and errors committed in history. Knowledge of allthese elements is crucial for research today.The psychological and sociological characteristics of individuals also play a major rolein the creation of the intellectual ‘aristocracy’ of science.Quintana-Marı´ devotes the rest of the paper to the pedagogical value of History of Science. He says that ‘‘It is impossible to conceive of the integral man leaving out Historyof Science from his intellectual education.’’ Despite the fact that there are some difficultiesin characterizing the educational uses of history of science, for Quintana-Marı´ it is nec-essary to introduce history of science at ‘‘all levels’’ of education, from primary school touniversity.Quintana-Marı´ draws attention to the following points. First of all, he considers the mostsuitable age at which history of science should be introduced. Second, he suggests that thesyllabus should be extended to all levels. Third, he wonders whether history of scienceshould be considered separately or in the context of Comte’s General History. Fourth, hesuggests that history of science should be a separate course in some cases but it shouldform part of another subject in other cases. Fifth, he asks himself which parts of History of Science contribute most to integral education.In response to these issues Quintana-Marı´ suggests that history of science could beintroduced into the primary school in the form of legends and anecdotes to stimulate theimagination of children. Nevertheless, he was fully aware of the fact that teachers had littlematerial support at this level. At the secondary school level, despite the continuing need forstory telling, history of science should be introduced as ‘‘something that is alive’’ in all thesubjects. In addition, a special course on history of science should be introduced at thislevel and the study of biographies of scientists and srcinal sources should be encouraged.He also considered the possibility of repeating historical experiments.As for university degrees, Quintana-Marı´ contends that each Science Faculty shouldincorporate the history of its subject into the syllabus. He believes that the universitydegrees are excessively synthetic and hence unsatisfactory for those students that areendowed with a true spirit of research. Quintana-Marı´ also insists that the universityteachers should receive some training in history of science. He considered that there wereenough textbooks to complement teaching at the secondary and university levels. He onlymentions the relative lack of edited versions of srcinal sources.Quintana-Marı´ ended his paper by reminding us that his proposals were in line withthose made by the foremost historians of science of his time: George Sarton, Aldo Mieli,Gino Loria, Arnold Reymond and He´le`ne Metzger.In 1933–1935, Quintana-Marı´ gave a seminar in the Department of Pedagogy of theUniversity of Barcelona. This seminar might have been the srcin of a long manuscript thetitle of which ‘‘Historia de la ciencia 1932/1935’’ [History of Science 1932/1935] couldhave been added later. 2 In 1985 one of the authors (Roca-Rosell) met Quintana-Marı´, whounfortunately had no recollection of this text. Nevertheless, the structure of the text issimilar to the paper in  Archeion , but more complete (more than 150 p.). Most of the 2 The manuscript forms part of the archive of Quintana-Marı´’s family. We wish to express our gratitude tothem for their generosity in allowing us to consult and copy this material.928 A. Roca-Rosell, P. Grapı´-Vilumara  1 3  bibliographical references were dated before 1935, but there are some from 1942. It ispossible that he resumed work on the manuscript at that time. 4 Conclusion Antoni Quintana-Marı´ occupies a prominent place in the historiography of science inCatalonia. He broke new ground and set an example to present-day historians of science.He forged strong links between history of science and science education. History of sciencefor him was the best way in which to teach science as something that is alive. It should beborne in mind that education was a major issue in Spain in the 1930s. In the early decadesof the twentieth century, the country underwent considerable changes. In 1900, almost 70per cent of the population was illiterate. However, this percentage dropped to 40 per centby the 1930s as a result of the efforts of a variety of entities including trade unions andcultural associations. The proclamation of the II Republic in 1931 ushered in a period of hope and promise in Spain. For teachers, the new freedom was an opportunity forimprovement. Quintana-Marı´ took part in this movement of renewal while promoting therole of history of science in education. However, his proposals could not be implementedbecause of the outbreak of the Civil War (1936), which was followed by the dictatorship of General Franco (1939). It was the intention of Quintana-Marı´ to resume his research inhistory of science, but unfortunately this was not possible. References Casassas, E. (1995). Josep Estalella i Graells 1879–1938. La nova pedagogia. In J. M. Camarasa & A. Roca-Rosell (Eds.),  Cie`ncia i Te`cnica als Paı¨ sos Catalans. Una aproximacio´ biogra` fica als darrers 150 anys (pp. 1021–1053). Barcelona: Fundacio´ Catalana per a la Recerca.Fox, R. (2006). Fashioning the discipline: History of science in the European intellectual tradition.  Minerva,44 , 410–432.Glick, T. F. (1977). Jose´ Marı´a Milla´s Vallicrosa (1897–1970) and the founding of the history of science inSpain.  Isis, 68 , 276–283.Moles, E. (1934).  Del momento cientı´  fico espanyol 1775–1825 . Madrid: Academia de Ciencias Exactas,Fı´sicas y Naturales.Quintana-Marı´, A. (1935a).  Estudi biogra` fic i documental  (pp. 61–305). Acade`mia de Cie`ncies i Arts deBarcelona.Quintana-Marı´, A. (1935b). Valor de la Historia de la Ciencia como medio de Educacio´n Integral yEspecı´fica del Individuo.  Archeion, XVII  , 218–223.Quintana-Marı´, A., et al. (1932). El centenari d’Antoni Martı´ i Franque`s.  Cie`ncia, VII  (48), 100–128.Roca-Rosell, A. (1991). El caso del Congreso Internacional de 1934: ‘Guerra’ entre historiadores de laciencia. In M. Valera & C. Lo´pez Ferna´ndez (Eds.),  Actas del V Congreso de la Sociedad Espan˜ ola de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Te´ cnicas  (Vol. II, pp. 1.066–1.084). Mu´rcia-Barcelona: DM-PPU.Roca-Rosell, A. (1993). Una perspectiva de la historiografia de la cie`ncia i de la te`cnica a Catalunya. InV. Navarro, V. L. Salavert, M. Corell, E. Moreno, & V. Rossello´ (coords.),  II Trobades de la Societat Catalana d’Histo`ria de la Cie`ncia i de la Te´ cnica  (pp. 13–26). Barcelona: Societat Catalana d’Histo`riade la Cie`ncia i de la Te`cnica.Roca-Rosell, A. (2003). Milla`s i Vallicrosa, Josep Maria. In A. Simon Tarre´s (dir.),  Diccionari d’Histori-ografia Catalana  (pp. 809–811). Barcelona: Enciclope`dia Catalana.Roca-Rosell, A., & Nieto Galan, A. (2000). Antoni Quintana i Marı´ (1907–1998) i la fundacio´ d’una escolacatalana d’histo`ria de la cie`ncia. In J. Batllo´ Ortiz, P. De La Fuente Collell, R. Puig Aguilar (coords.), V Trobades d’Histo`ria de la Cie`ncia i de la Te`cnica  (pp. 473–483). Barcelona: Societat Catalanad’Histo`ria de la Cie`ncia i de la Te`cnica.Antoni Quintana-Marı´ 929  1 3
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