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Miguel Ángel Puig-Samper

The Scientific Exploration of America URL:

Some of the most important contributions from Spanish science to world knowledge come from the explorations carried out by Spanish naturalists in America since the sixteenth century in their search for natural products that were useful to medicine, pharmacy, commerce, etc., that by Francisco Hernández (1570-1577) –Philip II’s first physician– being considered the first important expedition of a scientific nature.

By the eighteenth century, with the coming of the Bourbon dynasty to Spain, the number of scientific expeditions was immense and of a diverse nature, from maritime and hydrographic explorations, with high quality cartographic contributions, to astronomical and geodesic expeditions, including the Spanish-French geodesic expedition to Quito (1735-1744) with the participation of Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, and naturalist searches that unveiled new vegetable and animal species to European science, coinciding with the birth of modern natural science.

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