The Ravetllat-Pla Institute in Postwar Spain
Keywords:Ideology , Tuberculosis , post Civil War Spain, Sera-therapy
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to analyse the scientific and commercial survival strategy of the Ravetllat-Pla Institute after the Spanish Civil War. Founded in 1923 by Ramon Pla (1880–1956) and Joaquim Ravetllat (1872–1923), it produced two sera: ‘Hemo antitoxin’ and the ‘Ravetllat-Pla serum’. When the Civil War ended and Ramon Pla was forced into exile, management of this laboratory was taken over by his daughter, Núria Pla Monseny (1918– 2011) who had to deal with an extremely difficult economic, political and commercial situation. In this paper, I analyse the means by which the Institute survived. These involved the Institute’s ability to construct different political symbols from ‘Hemo-antitoxin’. I study how Franco’s repression influenced this survival strategy and Ramon Pla’s role in exile. I also analyse the part played in this scientific and commercial process by the Institute’s scientific and commercial network in Chile.