Former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and Dilma Rousseff (PT) defend science in video broadcast during the inauguration of Renato Janine Ribeiro as the new president of the SBPC (Brazilian Society for Progress) of Science).
The professor of political philosophy and ethics at USP and former Minister of Education in the Dilma administration will lead the institution in the 2021-2023 biennium. As vice presidents, sociologist Fernanda Sobral, a retired professor at UnB, and physicist Paulo Artaxo, from USP, were elected.
In the video, Dilma criticizes the Jair Bolsonaro government (no party) and says that Brazil has gone back immensely in educational policy, in encouraging science and technological development. “The necessary resources became scarce, as the expenditure ceiling placed an insurmountable barrier on scientific research”, he says.
It lists problems faced by the area in recent years, such as interrupted studies, blocked projects, closed laboratories at universities and reduced resources for researchers.
The former president cites in the video the problems faced by Science without Borders, a program she created in 2011. According to Dilma, the project was interrupted and despised, as it was considered an unnecessary expense.
Finally, the PT member says that earthworks and the denial of science have become the rule, even in the face of the pandemic. “Brazil will certainly need to mobilize all the resources it has to rebuild itself. This is the trajectory to reverse the setback the Bolsonaro government has placed us in.”
To Folha, Janine Ribeiro stated that the opposition of scientists to denial is a matter of ethics.
In his testimony, FHC recalls the importance of the institution during the dictatorship. “At that time, there was no freedom, no one to speak. The SBPC spoke for all of us, professors, students, researchers and for the Brazilian people. Now, we have to speak for science.”
Finally, the former president affirms that it is important to understand that without knowledge you cannot go far.
In the sequence, Lula corroborates the toucan’s speech by saying that it is not possible for a country to progress if there is no major investment in science and technology and recalls how he contributed to the area during his government.
“When I came to the Presidency, I insisted on creating a PAC [Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento] of science and technology with an investment of R$ 41 billion ensuring that the scientists themselves coordinated the execution of the use of this money.”
After congratulating Janine Ribeiro for the election victory, the PT member says he hopes that Brazil will once again have a government that has science and technology as one of the pillars of the country’s development.