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Letter from the editor

Increasing collaboration, attracting talent

This is the sixth special English version Pesquisa Fapesp magazine. The first was published in 2002; the second, in early 2004; the third, in late 2005; the fourth, in September 2007; and the fifth, in late 2009. In this edition, we are bringing together 18 of the most important articles published in our monthly issues in Portuguese from May 2009 to December 2010, in order to provide English speaking readers with an overview of Brazilian scientific and technological production during this period.

We have maintained basically the same editorial structure as in our domestic issues. Thus, the magazine opens with texts on scientific and technological policy, followed by articles on science, then on technology and finally on the humanities.

A quick-witted interview with an expert on Brazilian development, economist José Roberto Mendonça de Barros (page 10), and the issue’s cover story (page 18) precede this set of articles. Mendonça de Barros talks about the new Brazilian economic geography in which the state of São Paulo and the Southeast region of the country will push ahead the process of national development from 2011 on. He recognizes that other regions and states were more decisive for Brazilian growth in the last few years, but now, he says, São Paulo will lead Brazilian growth at annual rates of 4% or 4.5%, because of its infrastructure and system of knowledge production. Both are fundamental factors to support investment in dynamic and high technology sectors, such as agribusiness linked to second generation ethanol and oil exploration in the pre-salt layer.

As for the cover feature, our magazine relates important strategic steps and some interesting stories for São Paulo scientific research to increase its internationalization. With FAPESP at the head, the state is taking measures to stimulate collaboration among scientists from São Paulo and their colleagues from other countries and to attract talent from abroad to improve the Brazilian scientific environment. If São Paulo contributes almost 50% of the Brazilian production of scientific knowledge and if it is true that in this part of Brazil there are thousands of researchers producing science at the frontier of their fields, this knowledge should have a corresponding impact on world science. The internationalization of research seems to be the best way.

From the total of 10 articles in the science and technology sections, I would like to highlight, first, the one on the development of a peptide that brings significant qualities in a potential pharmaceutical substance and the possibility of exterminating blood vessels that develop in the wrong place and in an untimely fashion at the same time. As I talked about collaboration, curiously this achievement results from the collaboration between the biochemist Ricardo Giordano, from the Chemistry Institute at the University of São Paulo (USP) and a couple of Brazilian researchers who jointly coordinate a laboratory at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, USA: the molecular biologist Renata Pasqualini and the oncologist physician and researcher Wadih Arap.

In second place, I would like to draw our readers’ attention to the article on the astronomical instruments made in Brazil that equip the SOAR telescope in the Chilean Andes. It is a real and beautiful demonstration of the capacity of Brazilian industry incorporating technological innovations to advance the process of knowledge.

And finally I propose to our readers a short dive into Brazilian culture in the text about Mário de Andrade, one of the main writers of modernism in our country, and his process of creativity.

Enjoy your reading!