21 janeiro 2013

Ciência e Corrupção

Science 4 January 2013:
vol. 339 no. 6115 pp. 30-32

You've just been elected to your nation's highest office! In your inaugural address, announce the biggest challenge facing your country today and how you will use science to address it.

In the 4 January 2013 issue, we ran excerpts from 14 of the many interesting responses we received. Below, you will find the full versions of those 14 essays (in the order they were printed) as well as the best (in alphabetical order) of the other submissions we received.

Would you like to participate in the sixth NextGen VOICES survey? To make your voice heard, go to


In developing growth, Brazil has been recognized as a significant exporter of new tendencies in music, art, and sports. The Brazilian scientific scenario is also changing; it produces half a million graduates and 10,000 PhDs a year, 10 times more than two decades ago, with a significantly increased scientific publication record. However, this nation has been confronting several matters of different natures. Besides all the problems that affect its population, such as unequal wealth distribution, tropical diseases, and drugs, corruption is probably the most important cause of the retard of the Brazilian economy, breaking the fast development. The idea of exchanging favors to reach the aim of a minority has been prospering in the Brazilian politics for a long time. The corruption stamp has marked several Brazilian governments. Indirectly, it kills more than cancer or AIDS. If these billions of reais (Brazilian currency) were invested in health, education, or science, certainly, the progress of this country would be faster than one could imagine. Basic scientific education for our youngsters, who will be the future politicians, would be the main strategy for a long-term action. Ideally, every high school should be directly associated with a research laboratory in which its masters and PhD students should be responsible for giving tutorials for the young apprentices. If we can implement the Max Perutz certainty that "in science truth always wins," maybe it will force national leaders to recognize that everybody plays on the same team and in the same World Cup.
Guilherme Martins Santos
Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Brasília, Brazil. CEP 70910-900, Brazil.

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