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Insights from the North and Northeast

Eight Faps join up to publish a quarterly magazine that reflects the diversity of their production

DIVULGAÇÃOOn the cover, the boy from Amazonas measures the tucuma DIVULGAÇÃO

The evidence is building up that a complex system for popularizing science and technology has become more diversified and sophisticated in the last few years. And one of the most recent pieces of evidence is coming from the North and Northeast regions of the country: the quarterly magazine Ciência em Rede [Science in a Network], a result of the joint work of eight state research support foundations (Faps) from these regions, that is to say, those from Amazonas, Maranhão, Ceará, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco and Bahia. The venture is able to count on a partnership with Companhia Editora de Pernambuco (Cepe) and the support of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Conceived in a clear journalistic standard, well edited in its 64 pages, and printing relevant themes for national research at this moment, such as the cover story on biodiesel and the article on nanotechnology, the magazine’s intention is not to talk just of the North and Northeast, and only to these regions. “We want to position ourselves as a publication that, although made outside the traditional axis of scientific journalism and popularization, that is to say, Rio-São Paulo, brings in its articles relevant themes of national research, and even something of the international panorama”, says the scientific editor of Ciência em Rede, Marcos Costa Lima, a professor of the Postgraduate Program in Political Sciences of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). “And we want to have nationwide circulation”, he adds. Of cause, he concedes, the magazine must reflect in good measure the knowledge produced in the territories of activity of the Faps involved in the project.

The print run of the first issue, launched in March, as the director-president of the State of Pernambuco Science and Technology Support Foundation (Facepe), José Carlos Wanderley, explains, was of 10 thousand copies, and each institution involved in the project had a right to a number of issues defined proportionally to its contribution to make the magazine viable and that it will distribute freely to schools, universities and other institutions. Of the total of the print run, a thousand copies are intended for newsstands, and those responsible for the publication hope that through this channel the country as a whole may be reached later on.

In terms of the journalistic production properly speaking, the agreement amongst the Faps was that there would be a rotation in the editorial responsibility for the product. Pernambuco is at the front at this moment, but each foundation will, in actual fact, have a two-year period in the command of the work, in which time it is responsible for eight issues of the magazine coming out. Amongst others, the coordinator has the task of mobilizing his partners to guarantee that they all send quality journalistic material for each issue. The responsibility for the graphic production of the magazine lies with Cepe, which, following Continente [Continent], dedicated to culture, has been firming up its reputation in the publication of specialized magazines of a good quality.

Science and technology, but also scientific policy, issues from the area of education and ventures in the ambit of art and culture, are part of the menu of the new publication, which, according to Costa Lima, had as model the Pesquisa FAPESP magazine, Diretrizes [Guidelines], from the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), and Ciência Hoje [Science Today], of the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC).