In agriculture, gene research and renewable fuels, Brazil has made its mark in science and technology. But its spending on research and development (R&D) is paltry, amounting to a mere third of Japan’s. The lack of investment threatens to further erode the country’s fabulously rich, but beleaguered, natural and human resources.
In this article, Ildeu de Castro Moreira of the Institute of Physics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro says all this will change, and soon. The new government under President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva has announced ambitious plans to double R&D spending over the next four years.
For Brazil’s science and technology community, this is a chance to help formulate bold new policies. By boosting science education and technological innovation, they can help tackle the enormous social, economic and environmental problems their country faces.
Reference: Science, 301, 141 (2003)