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Brazil's ‘doomsday’ scenario

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Science  27 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6323, pp. 334
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6323.334

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A budget crisis has cut off all public funding for thousands of scientists in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, which includes Rio, Brazil's second biggest city. The state's science agency, FAPERJ, is bankrupt. It has fallen $150 million behind on grant payments, and over 2 years has been unable to fund 3670 research projects, raising the risk of a massive brain drain. There is little FAPERJ can do but watch the trainwreck unfold. The agency by law had been entitled to 2% of state tax revenues until last month, when Rio de Janeiro's governor signed a decree slashing FAPERJ's revenue allotment by 30%, to 1.36% of projected revenues. Science funding faces similar threats in other Brazilian states.

  • * Herton Escobar is a science journalist in São Paulo, Brazil.

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