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Almost six months into his administration, Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva has impressed many academics and others in the scientific establishment with his ability to both focus on essential issues and to motivate others to deal with them.

This is all the more reason, according to this Nature editorial, for Lula to move quickly to seize a key opportunity for Brazil: to turn its significant strengths in both physical and biological sciences into long-term economic advantage.

Lula needs an adviser who has the scientific clout plus the insight to understand how technology not only depends on basic science but can also be stimulated to national ends, it says. If he can pick the right individual for the job, Lula could enable Brazil to become the economic powerhouse that it deserves to be.

Link to Nature editorial

Reference: Nature 423, 367 (2003)

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