¿Agresiones de la altura y degeneración fisiológica? La biografía del "clima" como objeto de investigación científica en Colombia durante el siglo XIX e inicios del XX view Academic Article


  • Objective: To show the role of experimental physiology in the way of understanding the effectsof high-altitude climates on the functioning of the human body and the possibilities of progressin Colombia throughout the 19th century and the early 20th century. Development: The transformationof the climate concept as an object of scientific inquiry is explored over the studiedperiod. This is done by analyzing investigations on respiratory capacity, nutrition and metabolism,blood chemistry and heart function in people of the eastern range of the Colombian Andes.Conclusions: Beyond an institutional or disciplinary history of physiology, this article shows thatsome practices of experimental physiology played a role in the process of representing country,territory, and population. The inhabitants of the Andean highlands were understood not only interms of race and innate abilities, but also in terms of social classes and organic transformations.The idea that there was a supposed process of “physiological degeneration”, decreasing the efficiencyof high-altitude workers, was tried to compensate through a “rational diet”.

publication date

  • 2015/1/1


  • 13


  • Aggression
  • Aptitude
  • Climate
  • Colombia
  • Diet
  • Efficiency
  • Human Body
  • Physiological Phenomena
  • Population
  • Social Class
  • ability
  • aggression
  • chemistry
  • climate
  • efficiency
  • history
  • inhabitant
  • nutrition
  • physiology
  • social class
  • worker

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1692-7273

number of pages

  • 18

start page

  • 65

end page

  • 83