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Former science ministers slam Bolsonaro administration

Bnamericas Published: Monday, July 01, 2019
Former science ministers slam Bolsonaro administration

Several former Brazilian ministers of science and technology have released an open letter with criticisms of President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

The current minister of science, technology, innovations and communications is former astronaut and engineer Marcos Pontes.

The document was presented by the former ministers in the Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff governments – Marco Antonio Raupp, Aloízio Mercadante, Roberto Amaral, Clélio Campolina and Celso Pansera – at an event at a university in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to the five ex-ministers, the letter is also signed by the former ministers Aldo Rebelo and Sérgio Machado Rezende, also from the PT governments; as well as Ronaldo Sardenberg and Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, who were ministers under Fernando Henrique Cardoso; and José Goldemberg, from the Fernando Collor government.

The former officials mainly criticize the recent budget cuts in science and technology, which they say it could lead to an “unparalleled setback” in the sector.

In the text, read by Raupp, they say they are concerned about investments in science and technology and argue that more than 90% of what is developed comes from universities.

"By cutting the budget for these areas, the system will be destroyed. We are struggling to guarantee what has been done with previous investments," Raupp said.

They also criticize Bolsonaro's decision to extinguish or reduce a series of advisory councils, as well as the absence of representatives of the scientific community in committees and government councils that discuss public policies.

This is the fourth time that ministries from past administrations have come together to publicly criticize the current administration. There have been similar initiatives by the former ministers of the environment, of education and of justice.

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