Building peace in the minds of men and women

In Brasilia, a meeting to discuss quality of life and social justice

The seventh and final Preparatory Meeting for the Global Science Forum 2013 (GSF) occurs on Wednesday and Thursday (August 21st and 22nd) in the auditorium of the Foundation for Scientific and Technological Developments (Finatec), on the Darcy Ribeiro campus of the University of Brasilia-UNB (Av. L3 Norte, Ed. Finatec – Asa Norte, Brasília, DF).

With the theme "Science for the environment and social justice," the encounter brings together experts from within and also outside the Central West to diagnose and discuss solutions to urban problems such as mobility and violence, and the region's natural environment.

"The work of improving social existence in Brazil requires more effectively scaling the city as a living space, ensuring greater citizenship and a better quality of life for the population," says the executive secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Luiz Antonio Elias.

Since August last year, the preparatory meetings for the GSF have been held in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Salvador, Recife and Porto Alegre. The event in the federal capital closes the cycle of regional meetings leading up to the international event, which will be held from the 24th to the 27th of November in Rio de Janeiro, with the theme "Science for global sustainable development."

Each preparatory meeting addressed a specific theme, usually related to the host city and its region. "We realized, along with the organizing committee for Brasilia, that mobility, for example, had not been adequately addressed, nor had the specifics of the Central West," says Elias.

Although the regional events have worked with distinct themes, the executive secretary of MCTI emphasized the links between the debates across four lines: education in science, dissemination and access to knowledge and social interest; ethics in science, and sustainable and inclusive development.

The idea of the seven meetings is exactly that; to generate a debate within society about the issues and the importance of science nationally, to correct social inequalities, to match international economies and to bring awareness to Brazilian society, "says Elias.

The coordinator of the 7th meeting, Jaime Santana, stresses that the event involves the whole region, and will also have researchers from other places. "We have a very wide and active science community in the central west, but we also have problems with violence and urban transport, as well as the biomes of the Cerrado and the Pantanal being under threat" he says. "We chose this theme because we thought it would contribute more to the organization of the Forum."

Dean of research and post-graduate studies at the UNB, Santana believes that the main objectives of the regional meetings are to analyze each area of knowledge in the country and create proposals for this century. "The debates are a Brazilian contribution to a global scientific diagnosis. Not just a diagnosis but, principally, a search for possible paths to be taken."

According to him, one of the roundtable meetings, on Wednesday (21st), will focus on reports from the coordinators of the other six preparatory meetings. "This will be very important to set directions and reach a general idea of what Brazil is saying about science and sustainable development," says Santana.

In conclusion

In the opinion of the president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), Jacob Palis, the regional events have highlighted the importance of the international GSF to the national scientific community. "With this interconnection across Brazil, discussing our key issues, the effect has been extremely positive," he says. "Brasilia caps off the programming for this series of meetings.”

Palis reiterated that the debates in the seven cities must produce a document to be presented in Rio de Janeiro. "Are you ready, with first class researchers and a summary of opinions from regional meetings," he says. "This will lead to a proposition statement for the Global Science Forum, which is not only ours; it is the whole world’s." (Source: Ascom MCTI - Rodrigo PdGuerra)

Press contact:
Lídia Maia (Ascom do MCTI): 61- 96396036