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Letter from the editor | 100

A collective work, carried out with pleasure

I can always remember: I entered the Director President’s office with that indecorous specimen in my hand, its level a little below that of a school newsletter, and told him that if this circulated, it would cause more harm than good to FAPESP’s image. To that end, it would have been better to continue with nothing. He asked me what I suggested and I said that we urgently needed to throw out those perfect examples of how not to make up a house organ, while we would attempt to prepare another version of a bulletin, simpler, even more modest, but which would not bring shame to the institution. He said that is what we would do.

The newsletter that had frightened me by its amateurish level had not been put together by a journalist, a publisher or by a researcher with a sound knowledge of FAPESP. It had been made up by someone who was not in the grove and who had simply promised to do it. There was zero communication structuring within the institution. So much so that I was hired as an advisor in this area with a working schedule of only ten hours per week, because it had been judged at that time that this would be enough to respond to the needs of FAPESP’s social communication.

A few days after the conversation with the then Director President, Nelson de Jesus Parada, the first issue of Notícias FAPESP was ready. We were then in the month of August 1995. We could not at that point dream that this modest four-page bulletin, printed in two colors, on off-set paper, with a print run of 1,000 copies, would be the true forerunner of the magazine Pesquisa FAPESP. From that moment onwards, frequent dreams, determination and input from many people were necessary so that from this newly born would evolve this magazine that has reached its 100th edition, in a series that includes 46 editions of Notícias FAPESP .

During 1997, FAPESP made way for contracting a second journalist. There was preparation for the launch of the Small Business Innovation Research (PIPE) program, the gestation of the first genome project – FAPESP’s Scientific Director was a real production line of projects and programs. Along came Graça Mascarenhas, with the task of giving all of her competence and experience to improving Notícias FAPESP. The following year the first to join us was Marina Madeira, to improve our events organization, and then another journalist, Fernando Cunha, who quickly made evident his talent for setting a new dynamic pace to the press office.

At the end of 1998, after some enormous problems associated with improving Notícias FAPESP, I looked for and found Hélio de Almeida in his busy design office. And almost immediately there was born, as well as a friendship, a working partnership without which Pesquisa FAPESP would not be the magazine that it is today. His was the cover of the bulletin No 39, of January/February of 1999, with twenty four pages and a print run of 16,000 copies – and starting from there we conspired, without a stop, to transform Notícias FAPESP into a magazine for the diffusion of science at the high level of FAPESP and at the same level of the work load of the São Paulo scientific production.

In October 1999, the magazine was finally launched with some forty four pages and a special supplement of eight pages concerning scientific journalism, with a print run of 22,000 copies. We had managed to obtain the enthusiastic joining of the Scientific Director, José Fernando Perez, towards this idea, as well as having convinced the then Director President, Francisco Romeu Landi, to whom the communication sector was directly subordinate, that it was high time we took this step. The Administrative Director, Joaquim J. de Camargo Engler, agreed entirely with the change, and the three gentlemen went on to make up the magazine’s Editorial Board. Everything was done with the blessing of the Board of Directors, presided over by Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz. Today, presided over by Carlos Vogt, the Board continues to firmly support the work of the magazine.

Along with Hélio, today our Art Director, came Tânia Maria dos Santos, current head of Art, with her extraordinary competence. Little by little, we mounted a team of talented professionals. Carlos Fioravanti and Marcos de Oliveira, habitual collaborators, became Science Editor and Technology Editor respectively. Carlos Haag joined us as our Humanities Editor. Eduardo César and Miguel Boyayan, also previous collaborators, became our resident photographers. In 2000, Cláudia Izique began to edit Policies.

And as often happens that the crisis of one becomes the opportunity of another, thanks to the immense problems in the field of our modern media, which during 2000 dismissed brilliant journalists, during that year we managed to widen the team with Neldson Marcolin, the magazine’s current Chief Editor and Marcos Pivetta, Special Editor. During 2001, Dinorah Ereno became the assistant editor of Technology, and in 2002, it was the turn of Ricardo Zorzetto to come to us as assistant editor of Science. José Roberto Medda and Luciana Facchini, substituted by Mayumi Okuyama, completed our Art team. In administrative support, in secretarial work and photographic archives, we have important contributions from Paula Iliadis, Andressa Matias and André Serradas.

For as well as this wonderful editorial staff, while the magazine grew there was the demand for the work of many people, impossible to mention. And this also demanded a new organization model. It was in this manner that while preparing to enter onto the open market, as of March of 2002, the magazine transformed itself into a special project, linked to FAPESP’s Scientific Board, coordinated by the philosopher Luiz Henrique Lopes dos Santos and administratively made viable through an agreement with the Uniemp Institute. Communication management, now under the responsibility of Graça Mascarenhas and with a team of eleven people, remained linked to the President Director.

Having taken the path that has led us to the 100th issue, it is clear that it may well appear more difficult to produce a magazine with a journalistic stamp, and directed towards the open market, within a public institute than within a communication company. But it is highly improbable that in any company a publication has, without additional high costs, a concourse as intense and valuable of specialized work and of high quality, carried out with enthusiasm, than that which Pesquisa FAPESP can count upon. In fact, this magazine is the fruit of wide collective work, performed with considerable pleasure. And it is with this wealthy load that it is transported to each reader.

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