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New headquarters of the IEA inaugurated

by Richard Meckien - published Jan 19, 2018 11:35 AM - - last modified Jan 31, 2018 10:55 AM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Mauro Bellesa.

Inauguração da nova sede do IEA - 18/1/18 - 1
From the left: Linamara Rizzo Battistella, José Goldemberg, Marco Antonio Zago, Alfredo Bosi, Vahan Agopyan, José Renato Nalini and Paulo Saldiva during the unveiling of the commemorating plaque

'The IEA has grown, is alive and now occupies the space it deserves,' said USP's President Marco Antonio Zago at the inauguration ceremony of the Institute's new headquarters, on January 18. He and the other speakers of the event have emphasized the distinctive feature of the IEA: a meeting place for researchers from the various areas of knowledge and a channel for the University-society interaction.

The new headquarters are located in the space where the University Council, the General Secretariat and some bodies of the President's Office previously functioned. With an area that is 170% larger than the space currently occupied by the IEA, the site has been totally refurbished to host the Institute.


Inauguration ceremony of the Institute's new headquarters

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If the Institute used to have facilities for 15 researchers, an event room for 50 people and a meeting room for a dozen researchers, it can now host 40 researchers simultaneously and organize meetings, seminars and conferences for 120 people in the IEA Auditorium (former University Council room) or for 60 people in the Alfredo Bosi Room, named in honor of the only professor to be part of the Institute since its inception. The new academic infrastructure is supplemented by five meeting rooms, three for 12 people and two for five researchers.

In addition to Zago, FAPESP's President José Goldemberg (creator of the IEA in 1986, when he was the president), State Secretary of Education José Renato Nalini, State Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Linamara Rizzo Battistella, the director of the IEA, Paulo Saldiva, and the editor of the journal Estudos Avançados, Alfredo Bosi, former director of the Institute, spoke at the ceremony.

Attended by about 80 people, the event has counted on the presence of USP's Vice-President and elected President Vahan Agopyan, UNICAMP's President Marcelo Knobel, the president of the Institute of Technological Research (IPT), José Fernando Gomes Landgraf, as well as provosts, superintendents and directors of USP's units. Former directors, advisers, former advisers, senior professors, sabbatical professors, and research and study group coordinators have completed the group of illustrious presences.

Área para pesquisadores e grupos de pesquisa e estudo
Rooms can host up to 40 researchers simultaneously

Cognition and Ethics

Bosi, who considers the IEA his 'second academic home,' said that by integrating the first composition of the Board in 1987 he realized the vocation of the Institute to be 'a space to approach the people that the geography of the campus had dispersed.' He has developed his entire teaching career at the Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences (FFLCH).

He recalled the 'democratic' discussions on the process of Brazil's re-democratization within the Board in the early years of the Institute. 'Studying these issues was a way to pay off academia's debt to society and contribute to reducing inequalities.'

Inauguração da nova sede do IEA - 18/1/18 - 2
President Antonio Zago during the ceremony

For him, to discuss public policies in areas such as education, health, environment and energy alongside the debate on scientific boundaries is the key to the mission of the Institute, since it allows 'dedication to cognition and ethics, truth and the common good.'

Saldiva thanked Goldemberg 'for the vision of creating the IEA' and Bosi 'for perhaps being the person who most embodies the spirit of the Institute, with this link between cognition and ethics.' He also thanked former director Martin Grossmann 'for having started the fight for the IEA to leave a corridor and find a suitable space for its activities.'

Commenting on the president's commitment to the new space of the IEA, Saldiva said that this is the first time that the Institute, in its 31-year history, can count on headquarters that, 'besides representing an area increase, represent something that dignifies USP.'

For Saldiva, the existence of the IEA 'presupposes the idea of exercising an attitude of coexistence, as if the former Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Sciences at downtown São Paulo was resurfacing.' That was a place where there was close contact between researchers of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.

Sala Alfredo Bosi
Alfredo Bosi Room


'The IEA currently gathers 400 researchers, has increased its production, has an impact journal and obtained national and international funds,' commented the director, who sees the Institute as a 'channel of porosity with society, something very important for USP at a moment when the country needs to hear proposals from the University, which should be part of the solution to the problems.

Linamara Rizzo Battistella stressed the importance of the IEA at a time when 'we are seeing public policies dilute.' José Renato Nalini, who was an adviser at the Institute before assuming the State Secretary of Education, said he had the compliments of Governor Geraldo Alckmin, 'who has great appreciation for the IEA, as demonstrated by the fact that Martin Grossmann was the only new member appointed to the State Board of Education.'

Nalini argued that the IEA should devote itself even more to the problems of public primary education, since 'there is a risk of deepening inequalities between young people with fewer opportunities and those with access to elite private schools.'


Like Bosi and Saldiva, Goldemberg has also emphasized the vocation of the IEA to be a place of approaching people. 'When the Institute was created, the Professors' Club also came to be. It was very difficult to talk to people due to the differentiated geography of USP in relation to more compact universities such as Princeton.'

Diretoria e área do staff acadêmico, administrativo e de comunicação
Area for the Board of Directors and the academic, administrative and communication staff

'I consider this new space appropriate for the IEA,' said the president of FAPESP. 'Intellectuals can work anywhere, but to make people interact, the place needs to be pleasant, stimulating.'

At the end of the ceremony, USP's president said that throughout his administration he was concerned with living spaces, inserting the new headquarters of the IEA among the actions undertaken for this purpose, such as the creation of Milton Santos Square.

For him, the IEA and the Institute of Brazilian Studies (IEB), whose new headquarters were inaugurated on the same day, represent what 'the University has of most important and noble.' He made this point by highlighting IEB's collection and studies on culture, history and Brazilian literature, and the 'central role of the IEA in bringing people and USP closer to society.'

Zago said that a triangle of coexistence, interdisciplinarity and interaction with society is now being set up, with one of the vertices being the Brasiliana Guita and Jose Mindlin Library together with the IEB, as both share the same premises, and the others being the IEA and Inova USP Research and Innovation Center, inaugurated in December.

Photos: Leonor Calasans/IEA-USP | Graphic perspectives: Arthur Santos Francisco/SEF-USP