Freezing of the Brazilian science spending .pdf
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Freezing of the Brazilian science spending: The death of a development model
for research in Haiti
Evens Emmanuel1*, Gary W. Gervais2, Max F. Millien1
Université Quisqueya, École doctorale «Société et Environnement », 218, Avenue Jean Paul
II, Haut de Turgeau, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales, University of Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras,
Ave. Juan Ponce de León, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
Since 2006, we have been watching with interest the construction and development of
Brazil's science and innovation capabilities. The various measures and public policy tools
developed by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development of Brazil,
and the financial support made available by Brazilian governments, have not only led to a
real development of scientific research capacity and innovation, but also aroused curiosity
among researchers from several developing countries (DCs) to consider adapting the
Brazilian model of public funding policies for science and technology. Consequently, the
announcement made in March 2019 by the recently Brazilian government of Bolsonaro to
freeze 42% of the budget for science (Nature 568, 155-156, 2019), is a severe blow for
research in Brazil and may mean the death of a development model for research in other
DCs, including Haiti. Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with close
to 60% of the population living under the national poverty line
(https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html), the growth of
GDP that Haiti requires to ensure its economic and social development will never be
achieved in the absence of a sound science and innovation policy for the benefit of
economic and social development. Aware of this reality, Haitian scientists have relied on
Brazil's efforts in recent decades to lobby the Haitian Government to allocate a minimum of
0.1% of the national GDP to public funding for scientific research.
It is well established that public funding of research allows the state to promote and
increase the production of new knowledge while helping to build a technically capable
workforce. The new knowledge channels through the private sectors for the creation of
national wealth. Without the production of new knowledge and technical innovations, rapid
economic development is simply not possible. Reducing the funding of scientific research is
tantamount to dragging down economic development, contributing to societal imbalances,
and reinforcing social inequalities. The relationship between socio-economic development
and research should inspire the international funding agencies to initiate actions to maintain
scientific research and innovation in DCs.
Angelo C. Brazil freezes science spending. Move to put nearly half of the science ministry’s
budget on ice could derail major projects. Nature 568, 155-156, 2019. Doi: 10.1038/d41586019-01079-9. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01079-9
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