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Research and Development Science and Technology in Brazil

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Brazil Research and Development

Research and Development
A comparison between science in Brazil and science in other Latin American countries and in Israel helps to place Brazilian scientific research in a broader context. According to a 1994 study prepared by scientist Thomas S. Shott, Brazil performs less than 1 percent of the scientific research in the world. No Brazilian scientist was mentioned in a survey that cited nearly 3,000 scientists as principal contributors or as influential. Brazilian research amounted to a little less than half the research performed in Latin America and about a third of that performed in Israel, where scientific performance is high.

In economy and population, Brazil is roughly half the size of the rest of Latin America. However, Brazil is a whole order of magnitude larger than Israel in terms of the economy and even more in terms of population, and yet far less research is performed in Brazil than in Israel. Brazilian specialization emphasizes the disciplines of physics, biology, and mathematics. Brazilian research focuses on biomedicine and earth and space science and de-emphasizes clinical medicine and chemistry. Within medicine, however, tropical medicine and parasitology are fields of strong specialization in Brazil, as in the rest of Latin America. Brazilian growth has been highest in technological science, especially in computing.

Brazilian scientists are tied to colleagues, both Brazilian and foreign, who have influenced their research and who are collaborators or competitors in research. Cooperation and collaboration between Brazilian researchers and the scientific establishment in the rest of Latin America are also higher. Additional factors promoting scientific ties are social and cultural linkages between Brazil and the rest of Latin America.

Although regional integration is noticeable, it is overshadowed by the influence of scientific centers in North America and Western Europe. Brazilian scientists value their visits to these centers. The involvement of Brazilian scientists with the centers, however, has been slightly less than the participation of other Latin American scientists and much less than that of Israeli scientists.

Data as of April 1997



About Brazil
Table A. Selected Acronyms and Abbreviations
Table B. Chronology of Important Events
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Extent of Brazil's Borderline Shared by Neighboring Countries and the Atlantic Ocean
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