Sociology of science: are knowledge production and the quest for scientific status two divergent courses?

Fabio Gouveia fgouveia at FIOCRUZ.BR
Thu Jun 25 21:41:17 EDT 2009

Dear list colleges,
As a Brazilian I had observed over the last years a lot of misuse of
indexes and of specific achievements (like the cover article of Nature)
here in our country. Financing agencies are always trying to show that the
investment in science done by their current administration had an
immediate impact in the science output in number and quality of
publications, which it is obviously a wrong approach. Besides these
considerations that could make me understand the motivations of the
authors, probably this article will be one of those cases of being highly
cited because people disagree with it. Not a single graphic and, in my
humble opinion, a very superficial research. Too bad to see it published
in a magazine from my institution.
Fábio C. Gouveia, PhD.
Science Communicator
Museu da Vida – Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
fgouveia at

> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> CHRISTOFFERSEN, Martin Lindsey;
> ALMEIDA, Waltécio de Oliveira;
> LYCURGO, Tassos. Sociology of science:
> are knowledge production and the
> quest for scientific status two divergent
> courses?. História, Ciências, Saúde -
> Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro, v.16, n.2,
> abr.-jun. 2009, p.505-513.
> Abstract
> With the publication of a cover article
> in Nature by a group of Brazilian
> researchers, it has been suggested that
> science in Brazil has "progressed" to a
> level comparable to that of more
> developed countries. We argue that
> Brazil's contribution to the world
> scientific circuit is otherwise not very
> significant, even if more biological
> journals are published there than in
> other countries of continental
> dimensions, such as Australia, Canada
> and Russia.
> Keywords: sociology of science;
> publications; citations; Brazil.
>  Email address: Martin L. Christoffersen [mlchrist at]
> "The marginal position of science produced in Brazil is thus not simply a
> consequenceof lack of financial investment. Almost nothing that is
> published in developing nations appears in the ISI, and what is published
> rarely represents revolutionary knowledge with
> the potential to change the future of science". MLC
> A quick search of WebofScience for 2008 papers published in Brazil
> indicates over 35,000 papers indexed. EG

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