Scientists with awards from the National Order of Scientific Merit have collectively renounced the medal awarded by President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party). The gesture was motivated by the exclusion of two scientists from the list of recipients who had been targets of supporters of the federal government.
More than 20 scientists signed the letter in support of Marcus Vinícius Guimarães Lacerda, a researcher at Fiocruz, and Adele Schwartz Benzaken, director of Fiocruz Amazônia.
This Friday (5), in a decree published in an extra edition of the Official Gazette of the Union, Bolsonaro canceled the admission of researchers in the class of “commendator” for knowledge of health sciences.
“As scientists, we do not condone the way in which denialism in general, harassment of fellow scientists and recent cuts in federal budgets for science and technology have been used as tools to roll back the important progress made by the Brazilian scientific community in decades,” the document says.
Before that, the epidemiologist Cesar Vitora had already refused the title of grand cross of the order granted by the federal government last Wednesday (3). According to an open letter written by the doctor, even though it is a great “recognition for any Brazilian scientist”, it left him divided because it was done by a management that “not only ignores, but actively boycotts the recommendations of epidemiology and public health”.
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