Science, Technology, and Innovation in Brazil

It is essential to include Basic Science Education since the beginning of the educational process, making the investment in Science Education a priority. This approach decisively contributes to encouraging young people to take up careers in science and technology. Nevertheless, the most important consequence is the contribution it makes to improving education, which is a subject that has mobilized several segments of society because of its importance.

Open Science

Open Science has the objective to make scientific research and data accessible to all.

To build a global consensus on Open Science, the development of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science relies on an inclusive, transparent and consultative process involving all countries and all stakeholders. 

UNESCO approved The Recommendation on Open Science in 2021. It defines shared values and principles for Open Science and indicates concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data with proposals for action to bring citizens closer to science and commitments for better distribution and production of science in the world. Before this Recommendation was approved, UNESCO has gathered inputs from all the world regions and all the interested stakeholders through online consultations, regional and thematic meetings and numerous debates on implications, benefits and challenges of Open Science across the globe.

Open Science Movement

Open Science is the movement to make scientific research and data accessible to all. It includes practices such as publishing open scientific research, campaigning for open access and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge. Additionally, it includes other ways to make science more transparent and accessible during the research process. This includes open notebook science, citizen science, and aspects of open source software and crowdfunded research projects.

The many advantages of this movement include:
•    Greater availability and accessibility of publicly funded scientific research outputs;
•    Possibility for rigorous peer-review processes;
•    Greater reproducibility and transparency of scientific works;
•    Greater impact of scientific research.

Open Science utilizes the prevalence of the Internet and associated digital tools to enable greater local and global research collaboration. Numerous documents, organizations, and social movements advocate wider adoption of open science and open science data. These initiatives foster the development and implementation of scientific research communication strategies that are inclusive, effective, and conducive to scientific collaboration and discovery across scientific fields.

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Artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological advancements are developing very rapidly. Thus, it is necessary to have an international coordination for AI and other nnovative technologies can develop responsibly. 

AI, as well as other advancing technologies such as robotics, cloud computing and Internet of Things are transforming disciplines, economies and industries, and challenging ideas about what it means to be human. AI has enormous potential for benefiting humanity and promoting sustainable development, but only if it develops in a way that benefits humanity, respects global norms and standards, and is anchored in peace.

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Women and Girls in Science

Science and gender equality are both vital for sustainable development. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science: less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women.

Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development -- from improving health to combatting climate change -- will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent, and creativity.

Gender equality should be considered as a crucial means to promote scientific and technological excellence. In fact, the untapped potential of brilliant girls and women who might be interested in STEM but choose not to pursue degrees or careers in these fields because of the various obstacles they may face, represents an important lost opportunity, both for women themselves as well as for the society as a whole.

UNESCO is committed to promoting gender equality in and through education systems from early childhood to higher education, in formal, non-formal and informal settings and in all intervention areas from planning infrastructure to training teachers.

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Science Education

Scientific education and development of sustainable practices are themes of great interest to UNESCO, taking into consideration the continuous support offered to Science and Technology policy in Brazil. The major challenge posed in the country in this field is to have Science Teaching disseminated to the population in an increasingly homogeneous way capable of effectively improving people’s quality of life.

The scale of problems faced in this area is complex and consequences can hardly be solved in the short term. 

The challenges faced by Brazil in Science Education cannot be addressed separately because of the cause and effect relations existing among them like:

  • Increment and encouragement of scientific education vs. a shortage of teachers in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology
  • Improvement of science education quality vs. poor school infrastructure

Due to the country’s dimensions and difficulties encountered in structuring and implementing national policies capable of simultaneously addressing varied regional needs, science teaching provided in basic education schools is still very slow to produce many changes in the social realities (inequities) found in some regions.

UNESCO has an important role to play in enhancing Science Education. Innovative and pilot actions have to be implemented to strengthen scientific teaching in basic and secondary education.

In accordance to Budapest World Conference on Science, UNESCO supports national efforts to promote social inclusion through information strategies on Science, Technology & Innovation.

Priority should be given to developing technical cooperation efforts aimed at:

  • generating new technical-scientific knowledge
  • disseminating scientific knowledge
  • capacity building and training of human resources

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Science, Technology & Innovation Policy in Brazil

In the field of Science, Technology & Innovation, the greatest challenge in Brazil has been in designing and implementing a long-term policy that enables scientific and technological development to reach the population in order to improve life quality. 

This policy should have an effective impact on improving society’s living conditions.

This is a process, which has been enhanced through time and has increasingly shown the great potential that public and private investment in Science,  Technology & Innovation has for generating development and social integration. UNESCO acts as a catalyst for these themes and offers the country support to stabilize policies, as well as promoting technical cooperation at national and international levels in the field of natural sciences.

Electing Science, Technology & Innovation as a strategic choice for the country’s development implies prioritizing investments in this sector, to recoup losses and swiftly advance in the production and dissemination of knowledge and innovation, particularly in relation to its incorporation in national production. This also means advocating on behalf of the importance of Science, Technology & Innovation as a factor that integrates other government development policies. In this context, it is necessary for citizens to closely follow advancements and to be prepared to participate in decisions that are important for society.

When it comes to Science, Technology & Innovation management, Brazil relies on a structured system composed of a central coordinating body and development agencies in charge of defining and implementing development policies on science, technology, and innovation. The State and local level Science, Technology & Innovation management systems follow the same model for development policies attuned to regional and local vocations.

Due to the country’s dimensions, to difficulties encountered in its management structure, and, above all, to implementing national policies capable of simultaneously addressing varied regional needs, the scientific and technological knowledge produced is still slow to produce significant changes in the social inequities found in some regions. Therefore, the problems faced by Brazil in the fields of Science, Technology & Innovation are complex and can hardly be solved in the short term.

The country can count on installed material and intellectual capacity capable of promoting significant progress in national policies on Science, Technology & Innovation, as well as on the Environment. It also has a mobilized civil society and a powerful business sector.

In this sense, UNESCO aims at sensitizing Brazilian society to the role played by science for peace and development. This includes public managers and opinion makers from the private sector.

UNESCO Science Report

For two decades now, the UNESCO Science Report has been mapping science, technology, and innovation (STI) governance around the world on a regular basis. The report is published every five years, on 10 November, to mark World Science Day for Peace and Development.

Since STI does not evolve in a vacuum, its latest edition summarizes the evolution since 2010 against the backdrop of socio-economic, geopolitical and environmental trends that have helped to shape contemporary STI policy and governance.

The Reports are available for download: