Renato Janine Ribeiro, Professor of Political Philosophy and Ethics at the USP and former Minister of Education, has been elected President of the SBPC (Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science) for the biennium 2021-2023. The institution’s new board of directors, the most important body in the country’s scientific community, will also consist of seven female members for the first time.
The results of the vote, which took place on the Internet between June 3 and 21, were announced this Tuesday afternoon (22). Of the 3,190 eligible voting members, 1,914 voted, a turnout of 60%, the highest since 2009, according to the SBPC.
Walter Colli, chairman of the electoral commission of the association, attributed the relatively high interest of the partners to the race for the presidency (in other elections a single candidacy was common) and to the stronger interaction of the candidates with the voters via virtual factors.
In the election, Janine Ribeiro defeated the neuroscientist Carlos Alexandre Netto, the former dean of the UFRGS (1,205 against 617 votes). The sociologist Fernanda Sobral, a retired professor at the UnB (who already held the same position on the previous board) and the physicist Paulo Artaxo of USP were elected as vice-presidents. The general secretary, the three secretary posts and the two vacant treasurer posts will also be filled with researchers.
Both presidential candidates on their platforms emphasized the importance of Brazilian science in overcoming the worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and aiming to reverse cuts in research investments in the country. In an interview with Folha before her election, Janine Ribeiro defended the importance of public policy based on scientific evidence. “The idea of a knowledge society must be taken seriously,” he said.