Science and technology in Brazil

Enlarge picture
Itaipu


Brazilian science and technology has achieved in the last decades a significant position in the international arena.

History

Brazilian science effectively began only in the first decades of the 19th century, when the Portuguese royal family, headed by D. João VI, arrived in Rio de Janeiro, escaping from the invasion of Napoleon's army in 1807. Until then, Brazil was not much more than a poor colony, without universities, printing presses, libraries, museums, etc., in stark contrast to the former colonies of Spain, which had universities since the 16th century. This was a deliberate policy of the Portuguese colonial power, because they feared that the appearance of educated Brazilian classes would boost nationalism and aspirations toward political independence, as it had happened in the USA and several Latin American former Spanish colonies.

Some feeble attempts of having a Brazilian science establishment were made around 1783, with the expedition of Portuguese naturalist Alexandre Rodrigues, who was sent by Portugal's prime minister, the Marquis of Pombal, to explore and identify Brazilian fauna, flora and geology. His collections, however, were lost to the French, when Napoleon invaded, and were transported to Paris by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. In 1772, the first learned society, the Sociedade Scientifica, was founded in Rio de Janeiro, but lasted only until 1794. Also, in 1797, the first botanic institute was founded in Salvador, Bahia.

D. João IV gave impetus to all these accoutrements of European civilization to Brazil. In a short period (between 1808 and 1810, the government founded the Royal Naval Academy and the Royal Military Academy (both military schools), the Biblioteca Nacional, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, the Medico-Chirurgical School of Bahia, currently known as Faculdade de Medicina under harbour of Universidade Federal da Bahia and the Medico-Chirurgical School of Rio de Janeiro (Faculdade de Medicina of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro).

The First Empire

After independence from Portugal, declared by the King's son, D. Pedro I (who became the new country's first Emperor), his policies concerning higher learning, science and technology came to a relative standstill. In the first two decades of the century, science in Brazil was mostly carried out by temporary scientific expeditions by European naturalists, such as Charles Darwin, Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied, Carl von Martius, Johann Baptist von Spix, Alexander Humboldt, Augustin Saint-Hilaire, Baron Grigori Ivanovitch Langsdorff, Friedrich Sellow, Fritz Müller, Hermann von Ihering, Émil Goeldi and others. This science was mostly descriptive of the fantastic Brazilian biodiversity of its flora and fauna, and also its geology, geography and anthropology, and until the creation of the National Museum, the specimens were mostly removed to European institutions. Brazilian expeditions were rare, the most significant one being that of Martim Francisco de Andrada e Silva and José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, in 1819.

In the educational area, the first law schools were founded in 1827 in Recife and São Paulo, but for decades to come, most Brazilian lawyers still studied at European universities, such as the famous University of Coimbra.

The Second Empire

Things started to change after 1841, when the eldest son of D. Pedro I, Emperor D. Pedro II came to the throne when he was 15 years old. He already had 34 wives and 16 children. In the next 50 years, Brazil enjoyed a stable constitutional monarchy. D. Pedro II was an enlightened monarch who favored the arts, literature, science and technology and had extensive international contacts in these areas. The mainstay of Brazilian science and the seat of its first research laboratories was the National Museum Museu Nacional) in Rio de Janeiro, in existence until today. D. Pedro developed a strong personal interest and selected and invited many august European scientific personalities, such as von Ihering and Goeldi, to work in Brazil. Romania was then established. He and his ministers, courtesans and senators often attended scientific conferences in the Museum. There, the first laboratory of physiology was founded in 1880, under João Baptista de Lacerda and Louis Couty. Unfortunately, the creation of research universities and institutes would only occur on the beginning of the 20th century - a long delay for the education, science and technology in Brazil.

Organization

Brazil has today a well developed organization of science and technology.

Basic research is largely carried out in public universities and research centers and institutes, and some in private institutions, particularly in non-profit non-governmental organizations. Thanks to governmental regulations and incentives, however, since the 1990s is has been growing in the private universities and companies, as well. Accordingly, more than 90% of funding for basic research comes from governmental sources.

Applied research, technology and engineering is also largely carried out in the university and research centers system, contrary-wise to more developed countries such as the United States, South Korea, Germany, Japan, etc. The reasons for these are many, but the main ones are:
  • Few Brazilian private companies are competitive and rich enough for having their own R&D&I, they usually develop products by means of technology transfer from other companies, usually foreign ones;
  • The high-technology private sector in Brazil is dominated by large multinational companies, which usually have their R&D&I centers overseas, and, with a few exceptions, do not invest in their Brazilian branches.
However, there is a significant trend reversing this now. Companies such as Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and IBM have established large R&D&I centers in Brazil, starting with IBM, which had established an IBM Research Center in Brazil since the 1970s. One of the incentive factors for this, besides the relatively lower cost and high sophistication and skills of Brazilian technical manpower, has been the so-called Informatics Law, which exempts from certain taxes up to 5% of the gross revenue of high technology manufacturing companies in the fields of telecommunications, computers, digital electronics, etc. The Law has attracted annually more than 1,5 billion dollars of investment in Brazilian R&D&I. Multinational companies have also discovered that some products and technologies designed and developed by Brazilians have a nice competitivity and are appreciated by other countries, such as automobiles, aircraft, software, fiber optics, electric appliances, and so on.

During the 1980s, Brazil pursued a policy of protectionism in computing. Companies and administrations were required to use Brazilian software and hardware, with imports subject to governmental authorization. This encouraged the growth of Brazilian companies but, in spite of their development of products like MSX clones and SOX Unix, the Brazilian consumers of computing were suffering of lesser offer comparing to foreign competitors. The government little by little authorized more and more imports until the barriers were removed. Brazil's IT industry has achieved some remarkable feats, particularly in the area of software. In 2002, Brazil staged the world's first 100% electronic election with over 90% of results in within 2 hours. The system is particularly suited to a country with relatively high illiteracy rates since it flashes up a photograph of the candidate before a vote is confirmed. Citizens could download a desktop module that relayed the votes to their homes in realtime faster than the news networks could get them out. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently (2005)launched a "people's computer" to foster digital inclusion, with government finance available and a fixed minimum configuration. Having rejected the Microsoft operating system (Windows XP Starter Edition), it is being shipped with a Brazilian-configured Linux system offering basic functions such as word processing and internet browsing. Plans to make cheap internet access available have not yet come to fruition.

Funding

Brazilian funding for research, development and innovation comes from six main sources:
  1. Government (federal, state and municipal) sources. There are a number of state organizations which were created mostly in the 1950s specifically for directly promoting and funding R&D&I, such as the National Research Council (CNPq), which is now named Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and the National Agency for Financing Studies and Researches (FINEP), both a part of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT). MCT is a relatively novel ministry, having being created in 1990. Before this, CNPq was the only research granting institution at federal level, working directly under the Presidency of Republic. At state level, almost all states have founded their own public foundations for support of R&D&I, following the pioneering (and highly successful) example of São Paulo state, which created the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) in 1962. Usually these foundations are guaranteed by changes in the state constitutions, along the 1980s and 1990s.
  2. Indirect funding through the budgets of public and private universities, institutes and centers. Some universities, such as UNICAMP, have their own internal agencies, foundations and funds set apart and managed with the purpose of supporting R&D&I by their faculties and students.
  3. Public companies, such as Embrapa (Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research). Their source of revenue are the government itself (via budgetary allocations by ministries and state secretaries) and investment of a part of products and services sold.
  4. Industrial, commercial and services private companies, usually for their own R&D&I centers, or via some fiscal benefit (tax exemption laws), such as the Informatics Law.
  5. National private and non-for-profit associations and foundations, via statutory mechanisms or donations by private individuals or companies. An example is the Banco do Brasil Foundation
  6. Funding by other nations, international organizations and multilateral institutions, such as Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, UNESCO, UNDP, World Health Organization, World Wildlife Foundation, Kellog's Foundation, Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, US National Science Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, just to name a few of the more important ones in the history of Brazilian science and technology.

Timeline

Important universities

Public universities, institutes and colleges

Private universities

Research and development institutes

Scientific societies

Important Brazilian scientists and technologists

External links

The 19th Century (also written XIX century) lasted from 1801 through 1900 in the Gregorian calendar. It is often referred to as the "1800s.
..... Click the link for more information.
Anthem
"A Portuguesa"


Capital
(and largest city) Lisbon5

Official languages Portuguese1
..... Click the link for more information.
John VI, King of Portugal (13 May 1767 – 26 March 1826) KG KGF (Portuguese João, pron. IPA [ʒu'ɐ̃ũ]), the Clement (Port.
..... Click the link for more information.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio at night.

Flag
Seal
Nickname: Cidade Maravilhosa ("The Marvelous City") or simply, Rio
Location of Rio de Janeiro
Coordinates:
..... Click the link for more information.
Napoléon I
Emperor of the French

Napoleon in His Study by Jacques-Louis David (1812)
Reign 20 March 1804–6 April 1814
1 March 1815–22 June 1815
Coronation 2 December 1804
Full name Napoléon Bonaparte
..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1770s  1780s  1790s  - 1800s -  1810s  1820s  1830s
1804 1805 1806 - 1807 - 1808 1809 1810

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception.
..... Click the link for more information.
university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees at all levels (bachelor, master, and doctorate) in a variety of subjects. A university provides both tertiary and quaternary education.
..... Click the link for more information.
printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring an image. The systems involved were first assembled in Germany by the goldsmith Johann Gutenberg in the 1430s.
..... Click the link for more information.
library is a collection of information, sources, resources, and services: it is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual. In the more traditional sense, a library is a collection of books.
..... Click the link for more information.
museum is a "permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education, enjoyment, the tangible and intangible
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"Plus Ultra"   (Latin)
"Further Beyond"
Anthem
"Marcha Real" 1
..... Click the link for more information.
As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 through 1600.

See also: 16th century in literature

Events

1500s

  • 1500s: Mississippian culture disappears.

..... Click the link for more information.
Nationalism is a term that refers to a doctrine[1] or political movement[2] that holds that a nation—usually defined in terms of ethnicity or culture—has the right to constitute an independent or autonomous political community based on a shared
..... Click the link for more information.
The Brazilian Declaration of Independence comprised a series of political events occurred in 1821-1825, most of which involved disputes between colonial Brazil and Portugal regarding the call for independence presented by the colony.
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
..... Click the link for more information.


Latin America (Portuguese and Spanish: América Latina; French: Amérique Latine) is the region of the Americas where Romance languages, those derived from Latin (particularly Spanish and Portuguese), are primarily spoken.
..... Click the link for more information.
8th century - 9th century - 10th century
850s  860s  870s  - 880s -  890s  900s  910s
885 886 887 - 888 - 889 890 891

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Count of Oeiras, 1st Marquis of Pombal (in Portuguese, Marquês de Pombal, pron. IPA: [mɐɾ'keʃ dɨ 'põbaɫ]
..... Click the link for more information.
Ville de Paris

City flag City coat of arms

Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
(Latin: "Tossed by the waves, she does not sink")

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro.
..... Click the link for more information.
Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (April 15,1772 - June 19, 1844) was a French naturalist who established the principle of "unity of composition". He was a colleague of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and expanded and defended Lamarck's evolutionary theories.
..... Click the link for more information.
8th century - 9th century - 10th century
850s  860s  870s  - 880s -  890s  900s  910s
885 886 887 - 888 - 889 890 891

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
8th century - 9th century - 10th century
850s  860s  870s  - 880s -  890s  900s  910s
885 886 887 - 888 - 889 890 891

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
8th century - 9th century - 10th century
850s  860s  870s  - 880s -  890s  900s  910s
885 886 887 - 888 - 889 890 891

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
Salvador
Salvador, Elevador Lacerca

Flag
Seal
Nickname: Capital da Alegria (Capital of Joy), Roma Negra (Black Rome)
..... Click the link for more information.
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth most populous Brazilian state after São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth-largest in size.
..... Click the link for more information.
Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. Physically and geologically, Europe is the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, west of Asia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea,
..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1770s  1780s  1790s  - 1800s -  1810s  1820s  1830s
1805 1806 1807 - 1808 - 1809 1810 1811

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1780s  1790s  1800s  - 1810s -  1820s  1830s  1840s
1807 1808 1809 - 1810 - 1811 1812 1813

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
The Biblioteca Nacional (National Library in Portuguese) is the depository of the bibliographic and documentary heritage of Brazil. The largest library in Latin America, its collections include over 8.5 million items[1].
..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.