In an unprecedented intervention in National Graduate System, the Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro accepted, in an injunction, a lawsuit Public Ministry Determine the suspension of Capes assessment activities at a critical moment for the ongoing quadruple assessment. The procedure is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the values, standards, dynamics, and logic that govern scientific performance and related training activities.
Scientific activity is driven by the logic of discovery, while technological development and innovation activities are guided by finding solutions and opportunities. These activities are characterized by uncertainty, which requires constant and continuous verification of the knowledge generated. This openness and associated self-assessment procedures constitute the training environment for good scientists and researchers. The system is structured based on peer judgment (researchers), based on validation criteria discussed and agreed upon by these colleagues. For those without a profession or devotion to science, this system may seem “illegitimate”. Not. It is the way in which scientific activity has been organized in the world for centuries, which directs the activity of the main development agencies on the planet.
The Brazilian Postgraduate Evaluation System conducted by Capes is, ultimately, the self-evaluation process regulated by the national graduate system itself. It has worked continuously and uninterruptedly for more than half a century, based on evaluation criteria discussed and agreed upon by the community of researchers who are part of it and on comparative analysis of programmes. It is an important achievement of the National Science, Technology and Innovation System. Public policy of the state permeated successive governments and even changed the political system.
The criteria governing the current Quadriceps assessment are the result of a wide discussion held in the academic, scientific and technological community since 2017, in which the main associations representing this community (ABC, SBPC, ANDIFES, ABRUEM, ABRUC, FOPROP, CONSECTI, CONFAP, ANPG, among others). These standards were tested and validated at mid-term seminars held by all areas of assessment in 2019. One improvement is a greater appreciation of the contributions of programs to national economic and social development. And now, as the Quadruple Evaluation enters its decisive phase, the MPF’s work echoes isolated voices denying the broad consensus that has been built and sets out to suspend activities and change evaluation criteria!
With all due respect to the authors of the work, what is your experience in training and scientific and technological research activities to demonstrate this design? Who will bear the damage caused by the suspension of evaluation activities for Brazilian postgraduate studies and for national scientific and technological development? Brazilian science demands and deserves respect.
*Professor at PUC-Rio and UFRJ, and member of the CTC at the Capes. He was the Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, President of FINEP and Scientific Director of FAPERJ
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