Maria Paula Diogo is a scholar who has made outstanding contributions to the history of technology in every qualifying category for SHOT’s Leonardo da Vinci medal, not only through research, teaching, publications and service to the society, but also through creating interdisciplinary bridges, astute networking, highly successful institution building, exceptional mentoring, and many other associated activities that have contributed to redefining the intellectual scope and geography of our field in Portugal.
Maria Paula pioneered the field of history of technology in Portugal, building it into one of the world’s leading centers in the discipline. Throughout she been a key and loyal partner for SHOT, helping to establish its European presence and integrating southern European and postcolonial perspectives into our research agendas. She has consistently enlarged history of technology as an intellectual field by actively engaging scholarship in history of science, STS, and engineering studies while embracing historical objects from the early modern period to the late 20th century. More recently she has placed history of technology at the center of debates around the Anthropocene.
Diogo has taught at the faculty of science and technology in the New University of Lisbon since 1986, training a formidable number of excellent historians of technology, who are active contributors to SHOT, and initiating an important number of research projects and programs. These include directing CIUHCT, the Inter-University Centre of History of Science and Technology in Lisbon; establishing STEP, the Science and Technology in the European Periphery network; and sustaining the open access journal HOST: History of Science and Technology. CIUHCT has supported the growing history of technology community in Portugal, attracting and recruiting scholars from abroad above all from Spain and Brazil. Under her leadership it has become a major success story of how to sustain a community of scholars outside the traditional centers of the discipline, and under demanding financial constraints. Thanks to Diogo and her colleagues, Portugal regularly hosts history of technology related meetings including SHOT in Lisbon in 2007, ICOHTEC, STEP and ESHS, consolidating a vibrant and innovative international history of technology community
Diogo is the author of numerous well received books, edited volumes, articles and chapters in Portuguese and English focusing on the history of technology and engineering of science in Portugal and its colonies from the 17th to the 20th centuries. She has also worked on the processes of globalisation of science and technology and taken a leading role in the expansive Tensions of Europe network including co-authoring the volume dedicated to globalisation and colonialism in the network’s flagship book series, Making Europe. More broadly Diogo’s collegiality and her skills in catalysing innovative and productive dialogue are eloquently expressed in the unusually large number of collective writing project she has engaged in, making her work exemplary of an alternative collective way of creating history of technology.
Maria Paula Diogo is awarded the 2020 Leonardo da Vinci medal of the Society for the History of Technology for her work as a pioneer in expanding the horizons of our field, an inspiring teacher and institution builder, and an outstanding scholar who has made enormous contributions to growing SHOT as an international society.