Ricardo Magnus Osório Galvão is a world-renowned Brazilian physicist and engineer, formerly the Director-General of the National Institute for Space Research — one of the organisations responsible for monitoring the Amazon Rainforest.
In August 2019, he was removed from this position after a public disagreement with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over scientific data that showed a significant increase in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest since the latter took office.
Galvão has been bravely outspoken about Bolsonaro’s politics and as a scientist, he has fought to raise awareness of the alarming data that the President claims “is a lie.”
Speaking to the Guardian five days after his dismissal, Galvão said:
“What is happening is that this government has sent a clear message that there will not be any more punishment [for environmental crimes] like before … This government is sending a very clear message that the control of deforestation will not be like it was in the past …. And when the loggers hear this message that they will no longer be supervised as they were in the past, they penetrate [the rainforest],” Galvão said, claiming “enormous” damage had already been done since Bolsonaro took power in January.”
He has been instrumental in shining a light on the sinister suspected practices of Brazil’s current leader:
“There is no doubt about it. They have much closer relations with the loggers [than previous governments] … The president has said explicitly that he wants to make deals with American companies to exploit minerals in indigenous reserves,” Galvão said.
While he may have been sacked from the Institute of Space Research, he is now seen as a “hero defending science” in his community of people charged with monitoring the Amazon.
He is also a Full Professor of the Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo, member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, fellow of the Institute of Physics and councilman of the European Physical Society.Tags: Amazon, Amazon Rainforest, Brazil, Data Science, physics