In DepthBrazil

Scientists protest funding bonanza for brain campus

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Science  05 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6214, pp. 1166
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6214.1166

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Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis has won global attention for his experiments with brain-controlled prostheses—and for masterminding a controversial World Cup kickoff by a paralyzed man wearing a robotic exoskeleton. But back home, controversy over the high-profile researcher's latest funding windfall—a roughly $100 million grant for the neuroscience research and educational campus Nicolelis spearheads—has reached a boiling point. Last week, Brazil's largest scientific organization wrote a letter on behalf of more than 120 scientific societies questioning the federal government's decision to provide additional funding to the project without subjecting it to scientific peer review and arguing that the nation's entire scientific community should have been given a chance to compete for the grant.