Cândido de Mello Leitão: the biological sciences and the valorization of nature and diversity of life

This exploration of the thought of Brazilian zoologist Cândido de Mello Leitão (1886-1948) concentrates on his concern with valuing scientific knowledge and nature in all its diversity. The article highlights relevant episodes from his personal and professional life and analyzes part of his bibliographic production, published between 1935 and 1947. Mello Leitão asserted the need for a civilizing process that could reconcile man and the natural world. Science and the State should share responsibilities in this endeavor, especially in Brazil, which Mello Leitão felt was searching for a national identity and a model of civilization.

Cândido de Mello Leitão; conservation; Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro; history of science; wild fauna; zoogeography

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