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Ricardo Galvao, who was fired by Bolsonaro from Inpe, is the new head of CNPq – 01/16/2023

Ricardo Galvao, who was fired by Bolsonaro from Inpe, is the new head of CNPq – 01/16/2023

Ricardo Galvão, researcher and professor of physics at the University of São Paulo (USP), will be the new president of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the body responsible for promoting scientific research in Brazil. The official appointment should take place next Tuesday, the 17th, by Luciana Santos, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, the portfolio to which CNPq belongs.

Galvão returns to work for the federal government after four years. In 2019, the researcher was acquitted as director of the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) after clashing with then-president Jair Bolsonaro over deforestation data in the Amazon.

Now, at the helm of the board, the scholar will work in the area of ​​scholarship funding for undergraduate and graduate researchers, and will take on the challenge of making the academic career more financially attractive to scholars.

That’s because the values ​​haven’t been adjusted since 2013, and through 2022 they’re 67.97% behind, according to a study by the National Association of Graduate Students (ANPG), which provided projections based on inflation. Minister Luciana Santos has already stated that she intends to adjust the amount.

During the administration of former President Jair Bolsonaro, CNPq was one of the bodies hardest hit by the cuts. A study conducted by the Brazilian Legislative Observatory (OLB), a think tank affiliated with the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), showed that between 2019 and 2021, 68% of revenues were canceled on average. In 2022, federal government investment will be cut by 40% of the total.

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Last year, he ran as a federal deputy for the Sustainability Network party, whose main slogan is promoting science. However, he did not receive enough votes to be elected.

The struggle and acquittal

In 2019, Galvao and Bolsonaro got into a fight that culminated in the world’s sacking. The attitude of the researcher, then director of Inpe, to draw attention to the rise in deforestation alerts recorded by the institute—a 40% increase over the course of a year—was sharply criticized by the former president.

Bolsonaro even told foreign journalists that INPE’s statements were “lies” and implied that Galvão was “in the service of some NGO”. In an interview with EstadaoA day later, the researcher stated that the president’s attitude was “cowardly and cowardly.” The conflict ended which led to the resignation of Ricardo Galvao from the Institute, where he had worked since 1970.

However, the name of Ricardo Galvao was not without prestige in the scientific world. In the same year he was acquitted of Inpe, and natureone of the world’s major science journals, elected him as one of the 10 most important people in science that year.


The new head of CNPq holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (1969), a Ph.D. in applied plasma physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Professor of Experimental Physics at USP, where he is also a full-retirement professor at the university’s Institute of Physics.

In his CV, Galvão was also Director of the Brazilian Center for Physical Research (between 2004-2011), Director of the National Institute for Space Research (2016-2019), President of the Brazilian Society of Physics (2013-2016) and member of the Scientific Council of the European Physical Society (2013-2016). ). He is currently a member of the São Paulo State Academy of Sciences and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He specializes in plasma physics and controlled nuclear fusion.

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