Development of geology in Spain: a case study of a marginal science


  • P.F. SANTANACH I PRAT Departament de Geodinàmica i Geofísica, Facultat de Geologia, Universitat de Barcelona (UB). Martí i Franquès s/n, 08028 Barcelona


History of geology, Spain


Geology in Spain developed outside the mainstream of major geological ideas. Geology was introduced intothe country when it had already grown mature. The history of geology in Spain is series of initiatives aimedat aligning the country with the innovative currents taking place in the rest of Europe. This was accomplishedby different protagonists: state and private institutions during the Enlightenment, mining engineers in the 19th century, church and regional authorities in Catalonia in the last quarter of the 19th century and in the early years of the 20th century, and the university in the 20th century. The importance of the links with foreign geologists shouldnot be underestimated. Not until the 20th century did improvement in living standards and university expansionallow Spanish geology to attain the critical number of scientists needed to undertake quality research and achievefull integration into the international community.