Communication of evolutionary theory in Spain is an illuminating example of how science communication changes alongside politics.  Besides, it is also an example of how an apparently objective and neutral scientific theory can be used as an ideological tool and how its communication plays a key role in it.
Evolution is a concept that has its own imaginary, its own popular set of ideas that go beyond its scientific meaning. Its arrival in Spain in the mid 19th century is really well studied [1] and historians show that it was not only a pure innocent diffusion of scientific knowledge but more an appropriation, and the context of Spain at that time had a central role. That was a context of revolution, a progressive and liberal revolution known as La Gloriosa.
In this context, evolutionary theory was taken by different sectors of the society to cham-
pion their causes. Progressives took it because of its idea of constant change and progress.
Liberals, because of its idea of the struggle for life and the survival of the best adapted as it offered them an argument to support liberal thinking. In contrast, conservative sections of the society disapproved of evolutionary theory mainly for two reasons: its revolutionary,progressivist and liberal mood and its shock to the Catholic religion. [2]
Thus, evolution, as it entered Spain, was not value-neutral knowledge. It carried an ideological charge that came from its appropriation and it was used and instrumentalised for different purposes. What happened with all this ideological charge after the 19th century? Did it affect the communication of the theory of evolution somehow or promoted any use of it? To try and answer this question, I focused on the Franco dictatorship, a century after the arrival of the theory in Spain.
The context and the source: Franco dictatorship (from 1939 to 1975) and La Vanguardia Espa-
ñola was a good testing ground for two reasons. First, it was a paternalistic, military, deeply Catholic dictatorship. It preserved the values of morality, work, family and tradition. [3] In this frame, the ideas traditionally associated with the theory of evolution in Spain would be presumably considered dangerous for the stability of the regime. And second, the regime itself experienced a series of changes and we could test if the treatment of the theory of evolution changed with them.
La Vanguardia Española is one of the oldest newspapers in Spain. It is also one of the most read in Catalonia. It was started in 1881 and it has been published continuously up to the present, with the sole interruption of the Civil War. Its owners have always had a very good sense of business, and they have always had in mind that their newspaper is an enterprise whose survival depends on the support of the current government as well as on the loyalty ofits readers. So its editorial policy changed somehow in parallel with Franco’s regime. [4] What happens then, with the appearance of evolution theory and its treatment in La Vanguardia Española during Francoism and the following transition period?

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Communicating Evolutionary Theory in Francoist Spain
The case of La Vanguardia Española (1939 - 1978)

Clara Florensa Rodríguez   Centre d’Estudis d’Història de la Ciència, Universidad Au- tonoma de Barcelona

Communication of evolutionary theory in Spain is an illuminating example of how science communication changes alongside politics.  Besides, it is also an example of how an apparently objective and neutral scientific theory can be used as an ideological tool and how its communication plays a key role in it.
Evolution is a concept that has its own imaginary, its own popular set of ideas that go beyond its scientific meaning. Its arrival in Spain in the mid 19th century is really well studied [1] and historians show that it was not only a pure innocent diffusion of scientific knowledge but more an appropriation, and the context of Spain at that time had a central role. That was a context of revolution, a progressive and liberal revolution known as La Gloriosa.
In this context, evolutionary theory was taken by different sectors of the society to cham-
pion their causes. Progressives took it because of its idea of constant change and progress.
Liberals, because of its idea of the struggle for life and the survival of the best adapted as it offered them an argument to support liberal thinking. In contrast, conservative sections of the society disapproved of evolutionary theory mainly for two reasons: its revolutionary,progressivist and liberal mood and its shock to the Catholic religion. [2]
Thus, evolution, as it entered Spain, was not value-neutral knowledge. It carried an ideological charge that came from its appropriation and it was used and instrumentalised for different purposes. What happened with all this ideological charge after the 19th century? Did it affect the communication of the theory of evolution somehow or promoted any use of it? To try and answer this question, I focused on the Franco dictatorship, a century after the arrival of the theory in Spain.
The context and the source: Franco dictatorship (from 1939 to 1975) and La Vanguardia Espa-
ñola was a good testing ground for two reasons. First, it was a paternalistic, military, deeply Catholic dictatorship. It preserved the values of morality, work, family and tradition. [3] In this frame, the ideas traditionally associated with the theory of evolution in Spain would be presumably considered dangerous for the stability of the regime. And second, the regime itself experienced a series of changes and we could test if the treatment of the theory of evolution changed with them.
La Vanguardia Española is one of the oldest newspapers in Spain. It is also one of the most read in Catalonia. It was started in 1881 and it has been published continuously up to the present, with the sole interruption of the Civil War. Its owners have always had a very good sense of business, and they have always had in mind that their newspaper is an enterprise whose survival depends on the support of the current government as well as on the loyalty ofits readers. So its editorial policy changed somehow in parallel with Franco’s regime. [4] What happens then, with the appearance of evolution theory and its treatment in La Vanguardia Española during Francoism and the following transition period?

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