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Decorations returned to Brazilian scientists - MercoPress.

Decorations returned to Brazilian scientists – MercoPress.

Brazilian scientists regain their decorations under President Lula

Thursday, July 13th 2023 – 10:15 UTC
Lula restored the distinctions the scientist had been stripped of or renounced under Bolsonaro
Lula restored the distinctions the scientist had been stripped of or renounced under Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has reissued the National Order of Scientific Merit to honor researchers, professors, authorities, and entities that have made significant contributions to national scientific and technological development, as reported by Agencia Brasil. Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Luciana Santos also attended the ceremony.

Among the recipients of the award are sanitary doctor Adele Benzaken, infectiologist Marcus Vinícius Guimarães de Lacerda, and Ricardo Galvão, the president of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Benzaken and Lacerda had previously been awarded the honor, but it was revoked during the previous government due to their criticisms of federal management. In a show of solidarity, 21 other scientists voluntarily renounced their own decorations. However, all the decorations were returned to them during the ceremony held at the Planalto Palace.

Ricardo Galvão was dismissed from the presidency of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in August 2019 after contradicting Bolsonaro’s claim that the entity released false data about deforestation in the Amazon.

5th National Conference on Science and Technology

During the event, President Lula signed a decree convening the 5th National Conference on Science and Technology, which is scheduled to take place in Brasilia in June 2024. Additionally, Minister Luciana Santos signed an ordinance formalizing the appointment of former Minister Sérgio Rezende as the secretary of the conference. Preparations for the conference are already underway, according to the minister.

Santos praised the reestablishment of the National Council for Science and Technology, which now includes more representatives from civil society and the federal government. She described the ceremony as an “act of disgrace to science and of historical reparation to scientists, teachers, doctors, and researchers who were unjustly persecuted and threatened by an anti-science and anti-life government.”

President Lula emphasized that the resumption of the council’s work and the convening of the conference mark the beginning of a new era, free from obscurantism and denialism. He condemned the mistreatment of scientists and expressed the importance of investing in scientific research. Lula also pledged to establish more federal universities and stressed the need to reduce social inequalities. He stated, “There is no point in economic growth if it is not equitably distributed among the population. There is no way we can think about reducing inequalities without thinking about science.”

Lula referenced the tragic case of former Federal University of Santa Catarina Rector Luiz Carlos Cancellier, who took his own life after being arrested and removed from office. The Federal Court of Auditors later dismissed the case due to a lack of evidence of irregularities. Lula expressed the importance of remembering such victims of arbitrariness to prevent similar instances in the future.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)


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