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Lula and Sergio Resende advocate for funding for science and education

247 – In an article published in Folha de S.Paulo, former President Lula (PT), pre-candidate for the presidency in 2022, and former Minister of Science and Technology (2005-2010) Sergio Machado Resende, Professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco and a Doctor of Engineering defended the investment In science and education to resume the country’s development.

“No country would have been able to fully develop without implementing state policies for education, science and technology (S&T). They stress that education is a gateway to better quality jobs at higher wages, expands opportunities and enables more equitable economic development.”

In this sense, they assert that “the mastery of science and technology on a large scale is a necessary condition for making companies globally competitive, increasing wealth and strengthening the sovereignty of nations.”

Statesmen used as an example the Chinese model, which “implemented state policy for the development of science, within major departments, and today invests more than 400 billion dollars in science and technology” – and in 2021 scientific output exceeded the United States, which has been the main force in the sector for decades.

“As a result of this effort, in addition to expanding the production of manufactured goods, China has developed a broad and competitive industrial zone, with interaction programs with the research system,” they say. They also remember that in this way, the Chinese developed 5G technology for digital communications before the “industrial powers”.

“Thus, the country’s GDP, which at the turn of the century amounted to 1.2 trillion US dollars, the sixth in the world, now exceeds 15 trillion US dollars, after only the United States,” they justify.

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Setbacks in Brazil

Lula and Sergio Rezende deplore that “in recent years, there has been an unprecedented setback in the country’s science and technology policies”. “The dismantling of public institutions, in the direction of a minimal state, is a sign of a government deepening the neoliberal agenda and an unrealistic fiscal adjustment. We are going in the opposite direction to China and other countries,” they write.

Indeed, what has been seen since the coup that ousted Dilma Rousseff from the presidency in 2016 and led to Lula’s arrest in 2018 – with the governments of Michel Temer (2016-2018) and Jair Bolsonaro (2019-) – has been profound. The scorched earth policy of the national economy, initiated by Lava Jato. Post-coup governments sabotaged research and education institutions and favored deindustrialization at the national level, unlike the Labor Party.

“We have exceeded the worst expectations, we are heading toward obscurantism, with a government that denies science in each of its actions,” Lula and the former minister wrote, arguing that “the willful and criminal disregard for public health is the most important aspect. And the cruelty of this aversion to knowledge, which has already led to the loss of nearly than 620,000 people due to Covid-19.”

“Fortunately, we are witnessing the tremendous effort and commitment of the Brazilian scientific community to life, in search of solutions to a very serious health crisis. We have witnessed the rapid response of SUS, which has survived attempts at dismantling, and its esteemed professionals on the front lines against the pandemic.”

“The next government will face the enormous challenge of resuming economic growth, creating jobs, overcoming poverty and reducing inequality. This will certainly depend on the commitment of our scientific community, which has made Brazil the 13th largest producer of science in the world,” they say.

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“It will be necessary to re-establish a science, technology and information policy and plan, restore federal agencies and provide adequate budgets, in a joint effort by the state and businesses,” they say.