Science in Brazil must do more for society – new funding chief speaks out

Brazil’s best-known scientist, the veteran nuclear physicist  José Goldemberg,  in September 2015 took office as the president of  the São Paulo Research Foundation, (FAPESP) —  the most dynamic if not the largest of Brazil’s  funding agencies for scientific research, and the “go to”partner for many international  research councils, universities and top academics.

In a recorded inaugural address,  Goldemberg insisted that  it is time for Brazilian science to  play a leadership role in society , and to shake off  an  elitist “ivory tower” mentality that has prevented  large numbers of academics from interacting with the world of  business by generating innovations or engaging at a popular level with  primary and secondary education.

In his speech, Goldemberg pointed the way toward a much more policy-driven world in which science funding would be based more on the needs of society and industry – and less on the whims  and fancies of  pure researchers. He cited  US President Abraham Lincoln’s foresight in creating the National Science Foundation  in the middle of the US Civil War, as an indicator of how science can and should drive social development, even in such times of hardship as Brazil is experiencing thanks to a withering recession.

Portuguese speakers can  view the video  below of  a 7 minute extract from Prof. Goldemberg’s inaugural address 18th September at the headquarters of FAPESP in São Paulo:

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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