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