On-line version ISSN 1851-8265
KROPF, Simone Petraglia. Chagas disease in the eyes of the nation: science and health in Brazil at the beginnings of the 20th century. Salud Colectiva [online]. 2008, vol.4, n.3, pp. 363-372. ISSN 1851-8265. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1851-82652008000300008.
Since the early studies on the disease that takes his name, Carlos Chagas stated that the new trypanosomiasis, discovered by him in 1909, represented an important public health problem in Brazil for hampering the development and productiveness of rural populations. Chagas disease became the most important item of the research agenda of Oswaldo Cruz Institute. It was defined as a scientific-medical object as well as a social object, representing a certain perspective over the Brazilian nation and the role of science in leading it towards "progress" in the early years of the republican modernization. This process -that expresses the social dimension of the production of scientific facts- is analysed in this paper using the article published in the newspaper O Paiz under the title "Carlos Chagas Disease. A memorable session at the National Academy of Medicine", in October 31st, 1910, in which the physician Ismael da Rocha describes and comments Chagas' first public conference to present the main aspects of the knowledge about the new disease.
Keywords : History of Medicine; Science; Chagas Disease; Public Health; Brazil.