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Making improvements

Pesquisa FAPESP now has a 12-member Editorial Board comprised of researchers and journalists, chaired by the Foundation’s scientific director, Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz. On Tuesday afternoon, March 15, during their first meeting at FAPESP’s head office, the new board members heard from Brito Cruz  as to what was expected of them: ideas and suggestions on how to further improve a journal already renowned for its quality but as with most intellectual production, largely an open field for multiple experiences on how to do things better. And improving Pesquisa FAPESP, one might stress, is important not only to cultivate excellence for esthetic or ethical reasons. Even more important, it is a necessity with which the Foundation clearly identifies, in order to expand the impact of its journal in the forums and sociocultural milieus that seriously debate and influence the course of the science and technology policy in Brazil. Or in those environments where one seriously discusses what might be the best institutional paths to guarantee Brazilian participation in the contemporary construction of scientific knowledge, right to the cutting edge. Or perhaps in those arenas that observe with sensitivity the scientific and technological research initiatives that might yield juicy fruit, of various types, suitable for Brazilian society to enjoy. Indeed, there is abundant material in the journal’s issues to feed debate on the best Brazilian scientific production and the political challenges involved in driving the production of knowledge to advance – and no reason for the Foundation to accept that the impact of this publication be less than what is appropriate for  the institutional importance of FAPESP.

Driven by Brito Cruz’s words and those of Celso Lafer, the Foundation’s chairman, according to whom Pesquisa FAPESP is merited with promoting a fruitful exchange of cultures, (dialogues, as it were, among so many fields of knowledge in a single publication), the new board members presented in this first meeting their views on the merits and defects of the journal, some diagnoses and a series of preliminary suggestions to make it both more influential and more attractive. In the upcoming months, we will talk to our readers about this path toward improvement. It is time, however, to divulge who  our board members are, all of them highly regarded professionals in their respective fields: on the team of researchers, we have Fernando Reinach, José Arana Varela, José Eduardo Krieger, Luiz Davidovich, Marcelo Knobel, Maria Hermínia Tavares de Almeida and Mariza Corrêa; on the team of journalists, Caio Túlio Costa, Eugênio Bucci, Marcelo Leite, Maurício Tuffani and Mônica Teixeira. For the team of journalists that produce Pesquisa FAPESP , it is an honor and a pleasure to be able to rely on the creativity of this brilliant team of professionals in the permanent discussion of the future of this journal, launched in October 1999, following a preliminary, four-year stage as an information bulletin (Notícias FAPESP).

Concurrently, to keep up the technical and scientific impact of the information that the journal disseminates, it will continue to have the fundamental support of its old editorial board, now transformed into a Scientific Committee, under the chairmanship of Luiz Henrique Lopes dos Santos, the scientific coordinator of the journal’s project since 2002. Incidentally, I would like to take this opportunity to mention the names of the members of this committee, who include, in addition to the two directors of the Foundation, all the members of the joint coordinating function of the office of the scientific director in different fields of knowledge: Joaquim J. de Camargo Engler (administrative director), Ricardo Renzo Brentani (director-president), Cylon Gonçalves da Silva, Francisco Antônio Bezerra Coutinho, João Furtado, José Roberto Parra, Luís Augusto Barbosa Cortez, Luís Fernandes Lopez, Marie-Anne Van Sluys, Mário José Abdalla Saad, Paula Montero, Sérgio Queiroz, Wagner do Amaral and Walter Colli.

For reasons of space, I will not make my usual comments on the issue, but suggest that our readers investigate the subjects that they are most interested in, starting with the highlights on the cover – always a powerful clue. Next month, I will resume the comments. Enjoy your reading!