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Debate in Washington

Wilson Center hosts symposium on Brazilian science, celebrating FAPESP's 50th anniversary

WILSON CENTERWilson Center headquarters: discussions of major themesWILSON CENTER

A symposium in Washington in late October is to be part of the celebrations of FAPESP’s 50th anniversary in May of 2012. The FAPESP Week will take place from October 24 to 26, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in the capital of the United States. The event will hold debates among Brazilian scientists from several fields of knowledge, whose research themes have been supported by the Foundation, and their US colleagues. The sessions are to encompass themes such as optics and photonics, climate change, biodiversity, genomics, bioenergy, cancer, vaccines, infectious and tropical diseases and the study of US-Brazil relations. The event is promoted by the Wilson Center, the National Science Foundation, Ohio State University and FAPESP.

The Wilson Center is a memorial created by the US Congress in 1968 to celebrate the president who governed the country from 1913 to 1921. It has become a forum for debates among intellectuals and experts on major issues, with emphasis on the humanities and the social sciences. In 2006, it created, within its Latin American program, the Brazil Institute, headed by the journalist Paulo Sotero. This institute focuses on US-Brazil relations. The opening session, on the 24th, will be attended by Celso Lafer, the FAPESP chairman;  Michael Van Dusen, executive vice-president of the Wilson Center;  Cora Marrett, deputy director of the National Science Foundation;  Daniel Janies, from the Ohio State University Medical Center; and Paulo Sotero. Following this, the FAPESP scientific director, Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, will present an overview of science and technology in the state of São Paulo.

The first day sessions will address those subjects to which São Paulo researchers have made a substantial contribution. The first will be optics and photonics, a field explored by 2 of FAPESP’s 11 Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers – CEPIDs. This will be followed by biodiversity and climate change, which inspired two special FAPESP programs, Biota-FAPESP and the FAPESP Research Program on Global Climate Change. The first days schedule also includes a talk by the American biologist Thomas Lovejoy, who created the concept of biodiversity and who studies the Amazon Region, and an exhibition Brazilian nature mystery and destiny, based on the images and data of three projects financed by FAPESP: Flora brasiliensis on-line [Online Brazilian Flora], Flora fanerogâmica do estado de São Paulo [São Paulo State Phanerogamic Flora] and Biota-FAPESP.

On the second day, the following themes will be covered: plant genomics and bioenergy, which are the targets of the FAPESP Bioenergy Research Program (Bioen). In the afternoon, the discussions will center on US-Brazil relations, a subject of analysis among São Paulo researchers and also of the Brazil Institute of the Wilson Center, as well as studies about political science and urban policy. On the third and last day, the subjects scheduled for debate will be the development of drugs and vaccines in Brazil, cancer research, stem cells and genetic diseases, infectious diseases, and tropical diseases.

See the full schedule at