This paper studies the tactics developed in Spain to improve the country's scientific capacity over most of the 20th century. Early in the 20th century, Spain sought to raise its low scientific standing by establishing relations with foreign scientists. The tactics changed according to the political situation. The first part of the paper covers the period from 1900 to the Civil War (1936-39); the second examines consequences of the conflict for physical scientists in Spain; and the third analyzes the growth of physical sciences in Franco's Spain following the Civil War, a period in which the United States exerted special influence.

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