In DepthResearch Funding

Bill threatens key Brazilian universities

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Science  04 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6508, pp. 1152-1153
DOI: 10.1126/science.369.6508.1152

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Summary

Academic researchers in São Paulo, Brazil's wealthiest and most populous state, are warning that a proposed budget bill could cripple major universities and long-term research projects. The state is home to three of Latin America's most prestigious universities and produces 40% of Brazil's scientific publications. The proposal, now before the state's legislature, calls for the three major academic institutions—the University of São Paulo, the University of Campinas, and São Paulo State University—to transfer money in their long-term reserve accounts to the state government to help avoid deficits created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The São Paulo Research Foundation, a state agency that funds research and fellowships, would also have to hand over its reserve funds. If enacted in its current form, the bill "will paralyze all scientific activities in the state of São Paulo," the Brazilian Academy of Sciences warned in a 17 August letter. The Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science warned the same day of "irreversible damage."

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