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Sirius' largest investment was in a tamer government.  With Bolsonaro, there have been cutbacks in science - 10/20/2021 - balance and health

Sirius’ largest investment was in a tamer government. With Bolsonaro, there have been cutbacks in science – 10/20/2021 – balance and health

É enganosa a publicação no Twitter que atribui ao Presidente Jair Bolsonaro (sem partido) a construção da Particle Acceleration Station Sirius, in Campinas, in the interior of São Paulo. In the post, a user of the social network shared a video of the opening of the complex area, on October 21, 2020, where Bolsonaro was present, to say that he is investing “heavy (sic) in science.”

According to Cnpem (National Center for Research in Energy and Materials), which is supervised by MCTI (Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications), the signing of the contract with the construction company and the laying of the groundwork for the work took place in December 2014, at the first session of Dilma Rousseff (PT) . Since then, the project linked to the ministry has received annual funding from the federal government.

In addition to starting construction five years before Bolsonaro’s government begins, the president has announced cuts to the science portfolio. In March 2019, at the beginning of his term, he made a 42% cut in the ministry’s budget, equivalent to R$2.1 billion. At the time, Minister Marcos Pontes said the money was essential to the continuation of the Sirius project.

Recently, on October 8 of this year, there was another reduction of R$690 million. After consulting with Comprova, Cnpem stated that the budget cut “does not directly affect Sirius, as resources were earmarked for other activities,” but it “affects Brazilian science and the entire research ecosystem, and therefore, indirectly, also affects Sirius.”

The article attempted to contact the profile of BiroliroBrasil, the author of the post, but did not receive a response until this verification was completed. Days later, Twitter suspended the account.

Comprova found the content to be misleading because it leads to a different interpretation of the truth.

How do we check?

The report sought information on the construction of Sirius to find out when it began and the bodies responsible for the project. On the laboratory’s official website, we find that the contract was signed with the company responsible for starting work at the end of 2014 (the year following the start of the dredging work), and the first phase was launched in 2018.

Based on this information, we looked at data referring to Sirius’ creation on the federal government’s transparency portal.

Then, on the claim in the post that the media “would not have the courage” to talk about Bolsonaro’s contribution to Sirius, the report sought to verify through a Google search whether the national press had made news about it.

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In addition, Kombrova contacted the press offices of the Ministry of Science, which did not respond, and Cnpem via email.

The team also contacted the user who posted the original post, but did not receive any feedback until this text was posted.


Starting in 2014

Sirius is an open research infrastructure, available to the scientific community, and developed at Cnpem.

According to information on the website of the National Laboratory of Light Synchroton, an institution that includes Sirius, the earthworks of the land covering 68,000 square meters of the built area in Campinas, donated by the state of São Paulo, were completed in 2014.

On December 19 of the same year, the contract was signed with the construction company and the groundwork was laid, Cnpem reported in the report. At that time, the president of Brazil was Dilma Rousseff.

The buildings commenced in 2015, the year in which 20% of the civil works were completed.

Already during the Michel Temer government (PMDB), civil works for Sirius reached 75%, with the implementation of a special floor for the installation of accelerators and light lines, and in 2018 when the civil works and installation were completed. Equipment started.

Ministry of Scientific Resources

According to the lab’s official website, “Sirius is funded with resources from MCTI and designed by Cnpem researchers and engineers, in partnership with national industry.”

Data available on the Transparency Portal shows that, as of October 2021, the Federal Government has invested 1.3 billion R$ since the start of construction on Sirius, in 2014, within an initial budget of R$1.5 billion.

Also according to Transparency Portal, the highest annual payments so far amounted to R$352.4 million in 2018 (Temer government); R$ 325.9 million in 2017 (Tamer government); and 277.1 million Rls in 2019 (Bolsonaro government).

Although Bolsonaro has already channeled more than R$441 million to Sirius from 2019 to 2021, it was during the Temer government that the project had the largest amount of investment: about R$678 million between 2017 and 2018. During the Dilma administration, payments were made to the project. R. 243.1 million dollars.


Although the message analyzed in this verification declares that Bolsonaro “is the president of Brazil, the ‘corrupt’ still claims to be against science, investing heavily (sic) in ‘real’ science and ‘truth’…”, On October 8th of this year, there was an amendment to PLN (National Congress Bill) 16, by the National Congress Mixed Budget Committee, which responded to a letter from the Ministry of Economy and put forward resources for scholarship and research support from the Ministry of Science and prevents scheduled projects from by CNPq.

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With embezzlement, there may be potential to cut costs for Sirius, as it is being funded by the Department of Science. PLN 16/2021 withdrew 690 million R$ from the portfolio and allocated the amount to other ministries – the amount represented about 90% of the ministry’s budget, which fell to R$89 million.

On this occasion, the Minister of Science, Marcos Pontes, regretted the decision. On the same day, according to Agência Brasil, five new light lines were opened in Sirius.

As for Comprova, Cnpem consultants lamented the cut in Vol. “It was a huge blow to the Brazilian scientific system,” he wrote via email. “This does not directly affect Sirius at the moment, as resources have been allocated to other activities. However, it affects Brazilian science and the entire research ecosystem, and therefore indirectly affects Sirius as well.”

President visits

In addition to using a video of Sirius to say that Bolsonaro is investing heavily in science, the verified post asks: “Let’s announce why the Brazilian media don’t have the guts!…”, leading to the explanation that the national press has reported nothing. On the investments of the Bolsonaro government and the president’s visits to the complex.

However, many press outlets have promoted these issues. In November 2019, for example, UOL reported that “in July,[Sirius]received R$75m released by the federal government and was able to complete the last tests.” In September, G1 wrote: “As of September, the project has received a transfer of R$75 million from R$255.1 million planned for 2019”.

The visit of Bolsonaro, who participated in the opening of the first line of research in the laboratory, was also widely reported in October 2020.

“Bolsonaro inaugurates the Sirius research line and the Minister designs Biosafety Laboratory 4 in Campinas,” he wrote, in the title, G1. UOL also posted news of the event, noting that Bolsonaro was the third president to open one of the project’s phases.

a a sheetIn addition to publishing an article on his website, the president’s visit was published in the print edition of October 22 with the title “Bolsonaro inaugurates particle accelerator station in Campinas.” The country mentioned the participation of the Head of State in the event in a text that highlighted Minister Marcos Pontes’ position on the mandatory use of the COVID-19 vaccine. The ceremony was also reported by O Globo newspaper.

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On October 8, 2021, when five Sirius stations opened, G1 also reported and SBT News published the visit on TV, and in the online version, with the title “Bolsonaro Visits Super Lab and Meets Particle Accelerator”.

Why are we investigating?

In its fourth phase, Comprova is investigating suspicious content about the pandemic, the general policies of the federal government, and elections. The video shared in the verified post had 6,200 views on Twitter as of October 13.

Retweet with phrases like “I’m proud, it’s great to see Brazil come out of its backwardness, freeing itself from butt culture, carnival, football and sex tourism, to actually be the nation that is destined. Congratulations to everyone who participated and PR JB for their bravery. Pride” And “I’m glad I voted for the right person to run this country. If that was Lula’s position, surely this investment wouldn’t have come out of the paper because the money would have been used to support the dictator’s friends” suggest Bolsonaro would be responsible for building Sirius, which is a misinterpretation.

In 2021, Kombrova already found that a video deleted the actions of previous governments to glorify Bolsonaro’s actions in Transamazonica and examine the implementation of other alleged actions attributed to the president, such as those carried out in 2015 by the government of São Paulo and began to interfere in Rio Grande do Norte in previous governments, But it was also attributed only to Bolsonaro’s government.

Misleading, for Comprova, is content taken from the original context and used in another context so that its meaning changes; that it uses inaccurate data or that it leads to an interpretation different from the intention of its author; Or even those who confuse, with intent or intent to harm.

Comprova made this verification based on the information available on the 19th October 2021.