(1829 - 1888)
Químico fisiólogo, agrónomo y tecnólogo industrial. Se le considera Padre de la Agricultura Científica Cubana. Su obra cumbre, Ensayo sobre el cultivo de la caña de azúcar, se tradujo a varios idiomas y es considerada la principal obra escrita sobre esta gramínea.
Siècle XVIII La seconde étape de la période coloniale
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The economic peak materialized in the creation in Havana of an Economic Society of Friends of the Country (1793) and a Royal Consulate of Agriculture, Industry and Trade (1794). Indeed, despite the fact that the government in the metropolis was turning increasingly conservative (as a reaction to the French Revolution), in Cuba there was an emerging renovating movement (sometimes called "the first reformist movement") that had important cultural expressions in the publication Havana's Periodical Paper (1790). Among its first editors were the well known physician Tomás Romay (1764-1849) and the presbyter José Agustín Caballero (1762-1835), who pioneered a campaign against scholastic philosophy and education from his professorship at the Royal Seminar of San Carlos and San Ambrosio. Scientific issues were dealt with both in the Economic Society and the Periodical Paper. The Economic Society, which created the first public library in the country, was particularly influential in matters related to education.

The major cultural expressions of this movement were predicted by an event that cannot be disregarded: the publication, for the first time in Cuba, of a scientific book that - in addition -- had also been written in the country. It is the Description of Different Pieces of Natural History, whose author was the Portuguese enthusiastic naturalist Antonio Parra. This book, which was printed in Havana in 1787, is - above all - an annotated catalog of the collections Parra used to create the first museum in Cuba, a natural history office (its furniture is described and illustrated in the aforementioned work), which was operational for less than ten years. The main scientific value of this printed document lies in its most accurate illustrations of several fish species, from engravings on copper plates made by a son of Parra's. Thanks to these plates, the book attracted the attention of several well known European naturalists.

Ten years after Parra`s book, a whole set of interesting scientific works were published. Therefore, the science historian José López Sánchez called 1797 "the year of scientific eclosion". One of these works was an important essay on yellow fever by Tomás Romay, as well as another written by Antonio Morejón y Gato, where - according to some authors - soil analysis was dealt with for the first time in America. There were also works on apiculture, sugar production, surgical practice, and on some plants of the country. The Elective Philosophy of José Agustín Caballero circulated as a manuscript. Furthermore, that year too, Manuel Claves made the first public defense of Copernicus's heliocentric theory.

In 1795, members of the Royal Botanical Expedition to New Spain arrived in Cuba and so did, next year, the Royal Commission of Guantánamo, better known as "Count Mopox's expedition". The count was Joaquín de Santa Cruz y Cárdenas, a nobleman from Havana who lived at the court in Madrid. Mopox (who was also Count of Jaruco) sponsored in 1797 the first attempt in the country - which was unsuccessful - to couple a steam engine to a sugar mill (only in 1817 such coupling would be successful in Cuba). This ""fostering" expedition (i.e., for economic purposes) failed to found a village in Guantánamo (its main goal), but it undertook several explorations and collections of scientific interest along the country. When the Commission's botanist, Baltasar Manuel Boldo, passed away, he was substituted by the physician from Havana (and Tomás Romay's pupil) José Estévez (1771-1841), who had previously collaborated with botanists of the aforementioned Expedition to New Spain. Estévez traveled to Spain when the Commission's works were over. There he wrote, thus completing a manuscript by Boldo, the first Cuban Flora (which was published only in 1990), and he seems to have been the first Cuban who studied sciences (mostly chemistry) in Europe. Upon his return to Havana, he stood out for his implementation of most accurate chemical analyses.