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Research is, in addition to teaching and knowledge transfer, one of the three activities promoted by the Institut d'Història de la Ciència at the UAB. The IHC’s research focuses particularly on the History of Science and Medicine during the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as addressing other aspects such as the audiences of science, the history of psychology and colonial science.

The projects of the IHC members are complemented by the writing of PhD theses in the framework of the PhD programme in the History of Science (UAB-UB). As a result of the diversity among students in the programme, the fields of interest and the geographical area of the research projects have expanded significantly, especially as a result of the international nature of the student body.

The IHC also coordinates the Service of Science Archives (SAC), aimed at contributing towards conserving the scientific and technological heritage, through the recovery of the scientific archives of important researchers and institutions. Jointly financed by the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Generalitat de Catalunya, the SAC promotes the conservation of the scientific and technological historical heritage of Catalan-speaking regions, by locating and, in some cases, helping with the cataloguing and study of the archive collections of different institutions. In addition, it raises awareness among the scientific community of the importance of conserving the collections generated or of which it is custodian.

The Institute is also co-editor of Dynamis, a renowned international academic journal dedicated to the history of medicine, health and science which pays particular attention to new and interdisciplinary historiographical perspectives. Since its foundation in 1981, it has published original research works and reports in the languages of the European Union. Published weekly, its contents are freely accessible online one year after the printed publication.

Due to the high quality of the historical research conducted in the IHC since its origin as the Centre d’Història de la Ciència (CEHIC), the external support granted to the different projects has been constant: from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (formerly EEducación y Ciencia), the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional, the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT) and the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, among other institutions.