The new president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), Helena Nader, who was elected on March 29 to lead the entity during the 2022-2025 triennium, will be sworn in on Wednesday evening (4). The swearing-in ceremony will take place during the ABC Magna meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. and is expected to last two days. The gathering, whose theme is “The future is now,” will take place in a mixed format: in person, at the Museum of Tomorrow, in Rio de Janeiro, and online, on ABC’s YouTube channel.
Helena’s priority plans include: a closer relationship with the National Congress, continuity of educational training for young people, and correction of scholarship values for scientific researchers.
A biomedical doctor at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), Helena was elected by 398 votes to and 22 abstentions, the first woman to head the entity in its 105 years of existence.
In a statement to Agência Brasil, she said she intends to continue the “excellent work done by the recent councils”.
Helena Nader was Vice President of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Helena was the vice president of ABC last term. The researcher will take over responsibility from physicist Luiz Davidovich, with chemist Gilson Bettencourt de Andrade, Emeritus Professor at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) as an assistant.
In addition to the female presence in the Presidency of the Republic, among the entity’s 13 directorates, eight will be led by women. This is an important factor, given that women’s participation in science is still much lower than that of men, especially in leadership roles.
According to Helena, the goal is for the participation of men and women to be on an equal footing, remaining 50% for each. “Women do not reach the highest positions because they are segregated. But it is not only in science. In other areas too.”
She explained that when looking for work, women are often asked if they are married and if they intend to have children. “No one asks that from the man. And so, in the obstacle course, you have already started with a flaw. You must prove much more than the man. We will continue to work hard to reverse this trend. This will remain a priority.”
Currently, Helena is the co-chair of the Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS) and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Council for Science (ISC). Another goal it has set itself is to increase ABC’s exchanges with entities in other countries.
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