University teacher, director of FCUP and politician
Portrait by Carlos Carneiro
José Diogo Arroio was born in Porto in June 1854. He was the son of José Francisco Arroio (1818-1886), a musician and composer of Spanish origin, and of Rita Xavier de Rosola Arroio, and brother of António José Arroio (1856-1934), an engineer, art critic and promoter of technical education and applied arts, and João Marcelino Arroio (1861-1930), a lawyer, politician and composer, both members of Parliament.
Early in his career, José Diogo Arroio, doctor of Philosophy by the University of Coimbra (1877), was dedicated to General Biology, as shown in his inaugural dissertation at the Faculty of Philosophy - "Estudos sobre a Célula Vegetal" - and the dissertation presented when he ran for the teaching position at the Polytechnic Academy of Porto, entitled "O Reino dos Protistas: apreciação da legitimidade d'esta hypothese na classificação dos seres orgânicos" (Porto, 1881).
In 1881, he was appointed substitute teacher of the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th chairs by decree of 23 November of that year. He took up office on the 26th of the same month and year. Later, he became teacher of the 7th chair of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto - Zoology, Mineralogy and Veterinary, after appointment on 14 December 1881 and royal writ of 6 February of the following year. He took up office on 20 December 1881. With the reform of the Polytechnic Academy in 1885, José Diogo Arroio became professor of the 7th chair - Inorganic Chemistry, by decree of 19 August. He was also director of the Natural History Department at this Academy.
After the creation of the University of Porto, José Diogo Arroio began teaching at the Faculty of Sciences, in the 2nd Group – Chemistry, 2nd Department - Physical and Natural Sciences, as ordinary professor (by appointment of decree of 20 January 1912). At this Faculty, he taught Inorganic Chemistry, Chemistry (General Course), Physics and Chemistry and Qualitative Analytic Chemistry. He also taught General Chemistry and Analytic Chemistry at the Industrial and Trade Institute of Porto.
He was the Head of the Faculty of Sciences between of the University of Porto between 1912 and 1919. In 1924, when he turned 70, the Faculty Board of FCUP paid him a tribute and authorized him to continue teaching by decree of 19 July.
José Diogo Arroio was the co-founder of the newspaper "Jornal de Notícias" along with Aníbal de Morais and Manuel Vaz de Miranda, Peer of the Kingdom by the District of Leiria in 1893, member of the House of Representatives for the Paredes constituency – elected in 1894 - and Lifetime Peer of the Kingdom (appointed in 1910, but the never took up office). He was a member of the Regenerator Party, siding with Teixeira de Sousa, and was deputy governor and civil governor of Porto by appointment of 27 June 1910.
In the last years of his life, he published "Determinação do catião e anião em soluto dum sal único" and "Sobre o poder associante e molecular dos líquidos".
José Arroio and his closest family shared an interest in the arts. He was an accomplished pianist.
He died at his home in Foz do Douro on 16 November 1925 and was buried in Prado do Repouso Cemetery. The speeches at his funeral ceremony were delivered by Doctors Mendes Correia and António Mendonça Monteiro, who was a very close friend of the family and assistant of José Diogo Arroio in the Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Porto. In his honour, the big Chemistry amphitheatre was renamed "Sala José Diogo Arroio".
Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2012. Scientific Review by Jorge Fernandes Alves (FLUP)