The Brazilian contribution to publications in science and humanities increased from 0.29% of the worldwide total in 1981 to 0.46% in 1993. In science, but not in humanities, Brazilian publications tend to follow the world publication trend; thus, during the period 1981–1993, 57.9% of Brazilian publications were in life sciences, 35.4% in exact sciences, 3.9% in earth sciences and 2.9% in humanities. The ten institutions with the largest number of publications are universities, which account for half of the all Brazilian publications. The total number of authors on the Brazilian 1981–1993 publications was 52,808. Among these 57.8% appear in only one publication and 17.5% have their publications cited more than 10 times.
The number of Brazilian scientific publications increased from 0.29% to 0.56% of the worldwide total during the 1981–1993
period. There was a decrease of the funds allocated to most scientific activities, except for that allocated for training
of new scientists. The numbers of research fellowships and scientific publications increased at the same ratio during the
period. The pattern of scientific publications and the number of fellowship granted along the years in the different fields
of research were analyzed. The data presented indicate that even in a period of economic crisis, a selective investment of
funds in human resources may lead to an increase of the scientific productivity of a country in all science fields.
Considering the influence of graduation courses on the scientific productivity in Brazil, fifty productive Brazilian scientists
working in life sciences were interviewed about their relationship with their advisors and their own experience with their
students. Admired by freedom and intellectual qualities, by their love and dedication for science, advisors seem to have had
a deep influence on their students. This bond is not free from either an idealized frame or from some complaints and conflicts.
Interviewed scientists see in themselves lesser qualities and faults but the same respect for freedom. Some students are thought
to be specially important to the interviewed's productivity. Eldest and most productive scientists seem to be intellectually
more impressed by their advisors than the other groups. The emotional and sometimes strong and idealized bond between advisor
and students lead us to believe that the stated frequencies of conflicts might be underestimated.
Fifty Brazilian scientists working in life sciences were interviewed in order to explore reasons of bursts and falls in their
scientific productivity. Scientists recognize specific periods of time of their career during which they are more productive.
Bursts of productivity are influenced mainly by human relationships and, to a lower extent, by material conditions (equipment,
grants, etc), time dedicated to work and reasons linked to the kind of work carried out. The most productive scientists tend
to attribute more importance to human relations than their colleagues with lower productivity scores. Some possible reasons
for this discrepancy are discussed.