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+Science Dismantling of science’: Amazonian researchers point out negligence after CNPq fall

lataforma Lattes passa por uma falha que impede acesso a milhões de dados de cientistas brasileiros (Divulgação)

Marcela Leiros – from Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The systems crash at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) has caused concern among researchers. Since June 24, the system, which includes the Lattes and Carlos Chagas Platforms, with the scientific curriculum of all professionals in science and technology in the country, is unavailable. To CENARIUM, renowned researchers from the Amazon pointed out the neglect with which science is treated in Brazil.

Lattes only includes the Lattes Resume, the Directory of Research Groups, Directory of Institutions, and the Lattes Extractor. The platforms are used not only as a “showcase” of research, with the professional trajectory of researchers, but also to apply for new calls for proposals, accountability, and even when applying for projects and positions for scientific initiation, master’s and doctoral degrees.

The biologist and master degree in Ecology Lucas Ferrante, from the National Institute for Amazon Research (Inpa), pointed out that the instability of the system is, besides being harmful to researchers, a consequence of the reduction of investments in scientific and technological research. The amount set aside by the federal government for these investments in 2021 is R$ 2.7 billion, 15% less than in 2020 and 58% less than in 2015.

“This [instability] paralyzes Brazilian scientific production and paralyzes several research works. This dismantling of Brazilian science has been happening since 2015. After the impeachment of President Dilma [Rousseff], Brazil had a drop in investments in science and technology, and in the Bolsonaro government this drop has been accentuated, representing a setback of more than 20 years in investments,” Ferrante pointed out.

Scientist Lucas Ferrante (Reproduction/Video/The Intercept)

Permanent instability

Another important researcher in the Amazon who highlighted the government’s neglect of science was the epidemiologist from the Instituto Leônidas e Maria Deane (Fiocruz Amazônia), Jesem Orellana. He also recalled that the instability in the system has already occurred for about two years.

“A few years from now, we will remember this period as something marked by setbacks, in different fields, which includes the generation of quality and competitive knowledge. This has been going on for months, one hour it would collapse, it was just a matter of time. Severe cuts in the budget for Science and Technology in 2019, 2020 and 2021, are at the center of the causes, while the federal government doubled spending, unnecessary, on advertising. This is serious and demonstrates the government’s contempt,” he emphasized.

Epidemiologist Jesem Orellana (Reproduction/Personal archive)

On social networks, the unavailability of the system has been called “CNPq blackout”, a reference to the disappearance of researchers’ information.

Explanations

In a statement published on CNPq’s website, the agency reported that the “problem has already been diagnosed in partnership with contractors and the procedures for its repair have been initiated. The document also highlights that CNPq has new equipment and that data migration was initiated before the occurrence. “There is no loss of data from the Lattes Platform and the payment of the scholarships implemented will not be affected,” the report also points out.