The President of the Barcelona Provincial Authority, Salvador Esteve; the Executive Presidential Councillor of Terrassa City Council, Juan Antonio Gallardo; the Head of the Museum Service at the Department of Culture, Magda Gassó, and the Director of the Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC), Jaume Perarnau, formally opened the exhibition "The Foundations of the Future. Science and technology in the Commonwealth" at the mNACTEC.
The exhibition presents the unique, historic role played by the Commonwealth of Catalonia within the context of science and technology. Despite its brief duration (1914-1925), the Commonwealth, planned as a union of the four Catalan provincial authorities, undertook particularly significant initiatives in such wide-ranging spheres as technical education, scientific agriculture, communications, regional development, high culture and the health system. These initiatives include in particular the creation of laboratories, associations and societies to promote research, agricultural and industrial activity, and vocational training.
The exhibition, organised by the mNACTEC and funded by the Barcelona Provincial Authority, is curated by Antoni Roca, Prof of History of Science and Technology at Catalonia Technical University, and pays homage to the role of this institution, revealing the relevance of many of its projects, reflecting on their future vision through a range of audiovisual media and unique period objects.
The exhibition will be open until November 2014 at the mNACTEC, and will subsequently travel around the museums of the mNACTEC Territorial Structure, along with other cultural facilities so requesting.
The exhibition "The Foundations of the Future. Science and Technology in the Commonwealth" has a structure divided into four themed sections: For a new technical education; Scientific agriculture; Territorial integration. Promotion of research and high culture, and Towards public health. The closing section of the exhibition pays tribute to the leading architects, administrators and experts from the various spheres of the Commonwealth of Catalonia.
Among other aspects, the exhibition emphasises the momentum achieved during the period at industrial schools, with innovative teaching methods, along with laboratories, such as the beginning of the process leading to the professional recognition of women. The exhibition likewise deals with scientific advances in the field of agriculture and the efforts undertaken to structure the region by means of the telephone network and the network of highways and railways. The exhibits also cover such other innovations as the creation of the Institute of Catalan Studies, and projects to promote a public health service.
The exhibition is completed by a number of items from the mNACTEC collection connected with science and technology during the Commonwealth of Catalonia in Europe, including in particular the silk worm model, an electrical control board, a telephone switchboard and an incubator. There are likewise various scientific and measurement devices and instruments from the period, such as a microscope, an ebullioscope, a topography level, a densiometer and a Raffy carbonimeter.
The exhibition similarly includes a section where visitors can listen to recordings and read documents from the period.