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Thinking of a new model of university

by Richard Meckien - published Oct 02, 2014 10:10 AM - - last modified Oct 07, 2014 10:43 AM

Luiz Bevilacqua
Luiz Bevilacqua

The lag of the universitary system in relation to the current dynamics of knowledge will be discussed by Luiz Bevilacqua, professor emeritus from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), at the conference The University in a Time of Culture Shock, to be held by the IEA-USP on October 10, at 3 pm, in the Institute’s Event Room.

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Organized by Renato Janine, coordinator of IEA-USP’s Research Group The Future Questions Us, this will be the fourth meeting of the cycle of seminar Carioca Afternoons: USP Listens to Rio de Janeiro, which aims to strengthen the dialogue between thinkers of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro through the discussion of social issues linked to human relations.

To Bevilacqua, the advances of science and technology in the last century have not generated an update of academic and pedagogical structure of the university, since this would keep "the classic attitude of preserving knowledge niches that have given outstanding contribution in the past but need to be reviewed within a perspective 'of a new science', often seen as interdisciplinary”.

According to the lecturer, this immobility makes the current universitary model incompatible with the typical processes of training and scientific production of the culture shock we undergo, both in terms of a thematic convergence with a potential to create a new core of knowledge and the development of an innovative curriculum design that provides future generations with the necessary instruments to operate in the scenario of mutations.

"Courage, courage, humility, reflection and hard work are absolutely necessary ingredients to beat the uniqueness of modern times – where the past hits the present and wants to intrude the future - without being overwhelmed and without getting hopelessly in the wake of science and technology, once again and perhaps for countless generations," he says.

The event will be broadcast live on the web.


Luiz Bevilacqua has graduated in Civil Engineering from UFRJ, where he is a professor emeritus at the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Engineering (COPPE), and holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Stanford University. His recent research focuses on the dynamics of fractal structures, on modeling biological and social systems, on cognitive processes, and on mathematical and computational modeling in biology.

Bevilacqua has been Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Director of Research at CNPq, Scientific Director of FAPERJK, President of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Coordinator of the academic structuring committee of the Federal University of ABC (UFABC), where he has also been President, and member of the founding committee of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research.

Currently, Bevilacqua is focusing on the implementation of the Espaço Alexandria UFRJ. Developed with the support of the Provost for Research and Graduate Studies of the University, the initiative aims to stimulate interdisciplinary integration in projects for the advance of the frontiers of scientific knowledge and for the paradigm shift.