Númena was established on the 5th of January, 2001. After a five year elapse, the founders’ dispersion, the emergence of a new generation of affiliates and the existence of the institution’s public face rendered necessary the creation of a memory log.
It is difficult to explain who, how or why idealized Númena with naming names. Let us just say that we were young social scientists with a sparkle of talent. From the work we developed in the academic context, arose the consciousness that this was an arena for arbitrariness which did not admit appeal and, in brief, an industry perfect even in the alienation of work. Conversely, the social and symbolic capitals of the academy are factors of production essential to economy and social sciences. It is a harsh diagnosis, but we were not the first to make it:
The worker, that is, the assistant, is dependent upon the implements that the state puts at his disposal; hence he is just as dependent upon the head of the institute as is the employee in a factory upon the management. For, subjectively and in good faith, the director believes that this institute is 'his,' and he manages its affairs. Thus the assistant's position is often as precarious as is that of any 'quasi-proletarian' existence...
Max Weber in Science as Vocation
What is to be done? Númena embodies the strategy we articulated in response to this dilemma and its history is the account of the surprising viability of this solution. What we did, in fact, was to formalize a network of collaborations which existed for some time, giving it the chance to operate as a social and symbolic capital aggregator and not only as an informal scheme of intellectual mutualism.
Once established and operating, Númena applied to be part of Taguspark, which is a science and technology park in Greater Lisbon. Having accomplished this objective and guaranteed the assets required for its projects’ sustainability, Númena’s history becomes intertwined with these projects, by which we suggest the reader to refer to the pages dedicated to them.