Brazilian Space Agency President to Lead Ministry of Science

Marco Antonio Raupp

Brazilian Space Agency President Marco Antonio Raupp has been appointed by President Rousseff to take over the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. He succeeds Aloizio Mercadante, whom the president appointed to head the Ministry of Education. The former education minister, Fernando Haddad, left to run for mayor of Sao Paolo.

“I consider an honor and a challenge the new mission that is entrusted to me,” Raupp said in a statement. “I am absolutely aware of the unprecedented demand for science, technology and innovation make a vital contribution to social and economic development of Brazil.

“To fulfill this mission, I hope I have the active participation of the scientific, technological and business, and with the support of the teams that comprise the Ministry,” he added. “It also gives me great honor to succeed Minister Mercadante, whom I wish to continue the success and advancement by Professor Fernando Haddad at the Ministry of Education.”

Raupp, who is a scientist, is considered a better choice to run the ministry than Mercadante, who had little background in science and technology. In his new position, he will oversee the Brazilian Space Agency, which is part of the Ministry of Science. A replacement for Raupp has not been named.

“It is certainly an excellent choice,” said Celso de Melo, President of the Brazilian Physics Society (SBF). “Raupp is an experienced scientist who knows well the problems we have.”

Update: Thyrso Villela Neto will serve as interim president of the space agency as of Tuesday, Jan. 24. He had served as director of Satellites, Applications and Development at the agency since 2008.