"We are delighted that TWAS is able to launch the TWAS-Celso Furtado Prize in Social Sciences", says TWAS President Jacob Palis. "The prize reflects the Brazilian government's strong support for TWAS and, more generally, for helping to build scientific capacity in the developing world. Such support has been reflected in the efforts of the former Presidents of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso (TWAS Fellow 1984) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the former Ministers of Science and Technology José Israel Vargas (TWAS Fellow 1988) and Sergio Rezende (TWAS Fellow 2004). President Cardoso and Minister Vargas played central roles in the creation of the TWAS-Celso Furtado Prize in Social Sciences."
In adding his thanks to the Brazilian government, Romain Murenzi, TWAS's executive director, says: "At a time when complex global challenges demand imaginative responses that call upon the expertise of many different disciplines in both the natural and social sciences, it is important that TWAS recognize the critical role that such disciplines as economics, political science and sociology play in both understanding and addressing issues ranging from climate change to biodiversity loss to water and food security. The Academy thanks the Brazilian government for providing funding to recognize the excellent work that is being done by eminent researchers in these disciplines."
The TWAS-Celso Furtado Prize is named after Brazil's renowned economist, who was born in 1920 and died in 2004. Furtado's research focused on the plight of the poor in Brazil and throughout South America. He emphasized the importance of devising economic development policies that focused on building a strong industrial base for what he often referred to as 'peripheral economies'. He also foresaw the rise of a globalized world, which he said would be spurred by 'the spread of the world economy', and he urged developing countries to take steps to ensure that they would not be marginalized in the face of these trends. In addition to publishing more than 30 books, including his classic volume, The Economic Growth of Brazil: A Survey from Colonial to Modern Times, Furtado served as Minister of Planning and Minister of Culture. He was also one of the driving forces behind the creation of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The announcement of the prize took place during a visit to Brazil by the TWAS executive director Murenzi, where he met with TWAS president Jacob Palis, Aloizio Mercadante, Minister of Science and Technology, and Glaucius Oliva, president of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Murenzi also visited the TWAS Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (TWAS-ROLAC).
Here you can find additional information about the TWAS-Celso Furtado Prize in Social Sciences.