As academias de ciência precisam se engajar com a sociedade

sexta-feira, junho 25, 2010

Academies must engage with society

Yves QuéréNature 465, 1009 (24 June 2010) doi:10.1038/4651009aPublished online 23 June 2010

As the UK Royal Society prepares for a festival celebrating its 350th year, Yves Quéré urges all scientific academies to welcome women and young scientists and to take part in public and political discourse.

Recently I asked a group of French teenagers what they thought an academy was. After a long silence, one boy ventured: “I think ... it is a club of old gentlemen.” He put his finger on three of the most common failings of scientific academies. They have few female members, few young members and they act too much like private clubs instead of speaking up on crucial matters of science and technology.

Before looking at how to make academies more relevant and effective, it is worth reflecting on why they exist. Since the establishment in 1603 of the Lincean Academy in Rome (pictured) — the first national academy of sciences of modern times — the idea behind such organizations has been to promote the role of science in society and politics, and support scientists and science education. The best ones have come to embody three attributes. One is scientific expertise, because membership tends to be restricted to a nation's top scientists. Another is independence from external political, economic, religious or social pressures, enabling academies to speak openly on any matter. The last is stability in the face of constantly shifting social and political landscapes, because members are generally elected for life.




Não é pedir demais, afinal de contas, o cientista é um Barnabé que recebe salário através de nosso suado dinheirinho. Tem mais é que prestar contas para a sociedade que lhe deu a formação acadêmica e lhe paga os salários e financia suas pesquisas. Está mais do que na hora de acabar de vez com este pedestal acadêmico. São meros mortais como qualquer um de nós.