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The medical press at the Imperial Court: insanity and nervous diseases in the pages of specialized journals (1850-1880)

Based on an extensive survey of articles about insanity and nervous diseases published in medical journals of the Imperial Court between 1850 and 1880, in this article we develop an analysis of the role played by the medical press in the beginnings of psychiatry in Brazil. Thus, based on the perspective in which free press took an active role in forming opinions, we analyze the way and relevance in which such matters were present in those journals - on the assumption that despite the social and professional barriers inherent to that context, many efforts have been made by clinicians in the advancement of knowledge to that specialty in Brazil. Therefore, we intend to give prominence to the existence of an intense circulation of scientific ideas in Rio de Janeiro, revealing an environment of scientific exchange in which the role played by Brazilian physicians is not passive face to European medicine, but searches for professional legitimacy.

medical culture; medical press; history of science in Brazil

Pós-Graduação em História, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627 , Pampulha, Cidade Universitária, Caixa Postal 253 - CEP 31270-901, Tel./Fax: (55 31) 3409-5045, Belo Horizonte - MG, Brasil - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil