Affiliation: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, DE
Keywords: History of science and technology, philosophy, engineering, oceanography, history of Spain, Mediterranean, Cold War, postcolonialism, global environment.
Lino Camprubí is since 2014 a Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Dept. II. He obtained his PhD in History at UCLA in 2011 and then became a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the UAB (Barcelona) as part of the ERC-funded project The Earth Under Surveillance. His first book, Engineers and the Making of the Francoist Regime (The MIT Press, 2014) explores the active role of engineers in dictatorship building Spain. His second book, Los ingenieros de Franco. Ciencia, catolicismo y Guerra Fría (Crítica, 2017) extends this view to the role of geoscientists in shaping Spanish international relationships in the Cold War contest. He has recently published on “the invention of the global environment”, on Western Sahara phosphates and the fertilizers world market, and on oceanic circulation and anti-submarine surveillance at the Strait of Gibraltar, which constitutes the core of his current project.
Camprubí’s current main project The Strait in the Cold War—Deep Science and Global Geopolitics in the Mediterranean, is a history of oceanography and Cold War geopolitics. It explores the geopolitical, perceptual, and scientific resources mobilized in the effort of anti-submarine warfare at Gibraltar. Far from offering a US-centered perspective, it analyzes a number of transnational research programs and is very attentive to interests predating the Cold War, namely sovereignty disputes and decolonization. Underwater surveillance was a matter of acoustics. It required both the standardization of experience through trained ears and precise knowledge of sound propagation, which depended on Atlantic-Mediterranean water flows. The attention to circulation of civil and military oceanographers paved the way for the scientific globalization of the Mediterranean.