Brazil Science Days and 1st Meeting of the Brazilian diaspora in NRW: Brazil Centre celebrates the success of the event
On 19 and 20 October, the University of Münster (UM) received its first visit from the Embassy of Brazil in Berlin: Pedro Ivo Ferraz da Silva, Head of the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, and his colleague Silvia Nougués Wargaftig. The two-day visit programme included a meeting at the Rector's Office, several visits to institutes, getting to know the various campuses of the University of Münster, a meeting with the members of the Brazil Centre and finally the 1rst Meeting of the Brazilian Science Diaspora in NRW. The guests were able to gain a good understanding and find out about research priorities at the University of Münster, as well as discuss their current cooperation projects with Brazil, their research interests and future potential with researchers from a wide range of disciplines.
The meeting with the members was conceived as a platform for an open exchange of ideas, during which the embassy secretary gave a short presentation on Brazil's foreign science policy and the researchers from Münster presented their bilateral research collaborations. Afterwards, the members of the Brazil Centre were able to talk to the guests about challenges and hurdles regarding their cooperation with Brazil and discuss questions.
A special highlight in these two days was the Meeting of the Brazilian Diaspora for Science and Innovation in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Friday afternoon, 20.10.2023, which was organised in collaboration between the Brazil Centre, the so-called APOENA Network and the Embassy of Brazil in Berlin. The event offered more than 50 Brazilian scientists from various cities in Germany a varied programme of presentations, as well as extensive opportunities for networking and informal exchange.
At the beginning of the network meeting, the University of Münster and the work of the Brazil Centre as host of the event, were introduced to the audience by its scientific director, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Hellingrath, and its managing director, Anja Grecko Lorenz. The embassy secretary, Pedro Ivo Ferraz da Silva, then presented the embassy's activities related to networking and strengthening the Brazilian science diaspora in Germany. The presentation by Prof Dr Abílio Baeta Neves, former President of CAPES and Honorary Ambassador of the University of Münster, at the beginning of the round table was received with particular interest. Prof Abílio emphasised the importance of personal networks for one's own academic career and of international research stays for the further development of science worldwide - he presented revealing results of a recent study on Brazilian researchers living abroad. The professor also praised the work of the Brazil Centre, "which can serve as inspiration to other researchers for similar initiatives at their institutions".
During the panel discussion, the four invited researchers with very diverse profiles engaged in an intensive exchange with the audience about their personal careers, opportunities for cooperation with Brazil and the question of a possible return to Brazilian soil. The lively discussion also covered topics such as equal opportunities and the participation of Brazilian minorities (such as black people) in scientific production in Brazil and, consequently, abroad. The event was rounded off with a walk and dinner in a traditional restaurant in the historic centre, where more than 30 participants continued to exchange ideas and network until late in the evening.