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T he book you are about to read is far from a straightforward English version of the original Portuguese. Regina Horta Duarte made a series of revisions to the manuscript before delivering it to me, as she explains in the preface. Thanks to the rich collaborative relationship the author and I developed, I had the liberty to suggest other adjustments, always reviewed by Regina, for example, the rearrangement and relocation of paragraphs here and there, very minor cuts, a few notes to point out errors detected in primary sources. Citations of Foucault and Mayr in Portuguese were replaced by their classic English versions (a task Regina graciously insisted was hers), ensuring that the present audience has access to the most appropriate bibliography. The outcome is a highly domesticated text. In my view, the content itself abounds in foreignness, and I could best do my job by smoothing the reading process as much as possible. This at times led to what we might call “activist translation,” where I retained a semblance of invisibility while posing as the author. For instance, the cultural and historical gaps unnoticed by the Lusophone reader are filled in not by translator notes but by direct intervention in the text, and so “the place where the cross had first been planted”becomes “the place where the cross had first been planted by the Portuguese discoverers of Brazil on April 26,1500.”Similarly,the linguistic subtleties of Roquette-Pinto’s distinction between brasileiro and brasiliano are explained as if in Regina’s voice. Translator’s Note xiv Translator’s Note You will hear another constant voice, or set of voices: those of the scientists of the National Museum and their contemporaries.In these cases,I have stayed as faithful to the original as possible.This includes moments when Regina steps unobtrusively into the background to give her subjects the narrative stage, accounting for some uses of non–gender neutral patterns.The author and I were also in accord about respecting the historicity of proper names, which thus are spelled as they were in their day, despite any subsequent orthographic changes to Portuguese. A hybrid approach has been applied to book, article, and film titles. Most are followed by literal parenthetical translations, but these have been omitted where it was felt a description would suffice.To facilitate the researcher’s access to documents,original titles can be found in the notes when they do not appear in the text. Lastly, all names of institutions, agencies, conferences, and so on appear in English, with their originals supplied in a list at the back of the book. A few common nouns have been retained in Portuguese.These are defined upon first occurrence in the text. In closing,deepest thanks to my husband,and first reader,who saved me the embarrassment of inadvertently nailing a taxidermied jaguar carcass to a wall. Without Michael, no oeuvre is possible. My gratitude as well to skilled translator Kim Olson,who put on her copy editor’s hat and went above and beyond to chip the rough edges off my prose. Lastly, my immeasurable thanks to Regina Horta Duarte, gente finíssima, who has graced my work life with her good humor , boundless patience, and, now, friendship. I am grateful for the privilege of sharing with English-speaking readers her nuanced analysis of three exemplary Brazilian scientists who endeavored to forge a new field and a new nation. Activist Biology ...


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