We spoke with Dr. Marcia Barbosa, one of the directors of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), about the role of science in Brazil right now and about the mini-series “Science creates development”, produced by the Academy.
“To glimpse into the future, tough, it is necessary to analyze the past and when it comes to the history of Brazilian science, the past is brilliant. Even though science financing was always inconsistent and precarious, Brazilian scientists were responsible for the invention of the polyvalent antiophidic serum; were the firsts to ever trace the entire cycle of a disease, — the Chagas Disease; and participated in the discovery of the meson pi particle. They have also discovered the bradykinin, a potent vasodilator that is used until now in the treatment of hypertension; Brazilian scientists were the firsts to complete a heart transplant in the Latin America and were the firsts to identify the Aedes aegypti as the transmitter of the yellow fever in Latin America.
Even with the great achievements of the past, today, more than ever before, the practice of scientific outreach has a crucial role on the destiny of science in the country. The creation of public policies that protect the investments in this field will be a reality only when citizens and political representatives recognize what the scientific community emphasized for a long time: science creates development!
Marcos Luiz dos Mares Guia (1935-2002) had his work recognized in numerous instances, inside and outside the academic environment. He is one of the most important researchers in the field of biotechnology in the country, Marcos was one of those responsible for the discovery of recombinant human insulin. He was also in charge of the foundation of Biobrás, a pioneer in the manufacture of insulin in Brazil.
Milton Almeida dos Santos (May 3, 1926 – June 24, 2001) was a Brazilian geographer who had a degree in law. He became known for pioneer works in various fields in geography, notably urban development in developing countries. He is considered the father of Critical Geography in Brazil.