By Ph.D. Fernanda Khouri Barreto
Presentation of Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz):
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) is the main research institute connected to the Ministry of Health of Brazil. This institution works as a part of a Unified Health System (SUS) and is located in different brazilian states: Amazonas, Bahia, Distrito Federal, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro.
The Fiocruz focus in: research and innovation; management of public policies; production of drugs and biopharmaceuticals; education, information and communication in health, science and technology; health surveillance; basic and specialized care; and preservation of historical heritage.
The main objective of Fiocruz is promote the improvement of life quality of the population through the generation and diffusion of scientific and technological knowledge. The societal engagement is one of the priorities of our institution and we believe that it is important to consolidate and extend the interaction between science and society.
What are the current standards and actions to achieve better societal engagement in the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation?
Our scientific communication is daily through institutional vehicles (website, newsletter and digital social networks) and the approximation with printed, digital, radio and television media. We also have a project named “Open Doors” where students from high school, undergraduate and graduate have the possibility to know how is a research institution. This project also gives them the possibility to take a tour in our facilities and to talk with scientists.
Different projects developed in the institution seek to promote the approximation between science and the local population. Once a week, the Fiocruz-Bahia promotes scientific open sessions in which researchers from Fiocruz and invited researchers from other institutions in Brazil and worldwide have the possibility to present their projects and interact with the public. We also have a project named “Science on the road”, that currently is a road trip project into the poorest areas of the country in which scientist from Fiocruz are travelling by using a mobile lab to carry out basic knowledge on health to inform the population how to protect themselves from parasite infections. It also promotes interest in science among young people (See figure below).
What STARBIOS2 project adds to Fiocruz in the context of social engagement?
The participation in the STARBIOS2 provides us the ideal environment for reflecting our societal engagement politics as well as providing us with subsidies to learn and improve the popularization of science and technology based on the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation – RRI.