Economic Crisis in Science

“Brazilian science paralysed by economic slump,” warns Nature The influential science publication Nature has laid bare the abrupt reversal being experienced by scientists in Brazil, where for a decade booming funding allocations and growing prestige for federal and state agencies had generated unsustainable optimism. Now in a stunning reversal and just months after leftist president   …Continue Reading

‘Party’s Over,’ Warns New Science Chief.

Newly-impoverished Brazil could soon be reaching for higher impact science to guarantee a better “bang for every research buck,” after wasteful years and policymaking divisions between rival agencies. The “party’s over” message being delivered to Brazilian academics is that if they want access to fast-dwindling public resources, they must engage much more closely with the   …Continue Reading

Developing Countries and the Climate Change Convention

In the runup to December’s COP21 climate change talks in Paris, Brazil’s best-known scientist has issued a powerful challenge to the developing world’s most polluting nations to get behind the initiative, and to abandon decades-old rhetoric that blames rich countries for what has long been a shared global responsibility. Professor José Goldemberg, a veteran nuclear   …Continue Reading

Bumblebees Fight Agrochemicals

Brazil’s bumble bees are learning how to become Roundup-Ready, so anticipating the day when agrochemicals penetrate every corner of their natural world. Herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup do not, of course, specifically target insects. But even quite low doses of the chemical – which in Brazil is widely used in conjunction with genetically modified crops such   …Continue Reading

High Energy Guru Replaces Subtle Diplomat

Brazil’s best-known energy physicist will take over the country’s most effective research funding organisation, in a move that will further accentuate the primacy of São Paulo as the nation’s premier knowledge hub. Against a backdrop of worsening economic recession, and tumbling research budgets  matched by declining trust in public institutions thanks to corruption scandals, this   …Continue Reading

Lights, Synchrotron, Action!

Compared to CERN’s mammoth Large Hadron Collider, any of the world’s synchrotron particle accelerators must rank as a very junior cousin. Yet these “light laboratories” or cyclic particle accelerators relying on electromagnetic radiation and descended from the original cyclotron, cost just a fraction of the US$9 billion LHC. They have multiple applications and the scientific   …Continue Reading

Prize for Nuclear Safety Model

Will a nuclear power station’s pressure vessel be able to deal with the strain? That’s what every nuclear engineer and every safety expert worried about at Three Mile Island, Fukushima, and Chernobyl. Now, there’s a new mathematical model for assessing pressure vessel structural integrity assessment – which last year won a top prize at the   …Continue Reading

Snakes Alive! in Brilliant Butantan

When a casual visitor with school-age children asks what exciting activities are to be found in metropolitan São Paulo, the answer always comes up the same: “Visit the Butantan Snake Farm.” It’s an absolute winner in every sense of the word. Lurking under quaint stone turrets or sliding across the ground in oval shaped paddocks   …Continue Reading

Hi-Tech Cancer Drug Breakthrough

A Brazilian drug research company specialising in the development of cancer drugs, has achieved a notable coup by signing an $86 million deal allowing a US company to use a key discovery it developed in São Paulo. The US company, Mersana Therapeutics, will pay up to US$86 million to Brazilian company Recepta Biopharma SA   …Continue Reading

Science Smiles Turn to Tears

President Dilma Rousseff was all smiles when she visited the glittering technology hotspots of California’s Bay Area during a state visit to the US end-June, that included talks in Washington DC with President Barack Obama. There seemed no limits to Brazil’s willingness to become a new partner for US research and innovation and all   …Continue Reading

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Researching in Brazil

Brazil’s best-known scientist, the veteran nuclear physicist  José Goldemberg,  in September 2015 took office as the president of  the São…

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