Bolsonaro's budget cuts for Human Sciences in Brazil brought together renowned scholars from Harvard, Yale and Cambridge.
"Social and human sciences are not a luxury." 1,100 scholars from the most prestigious universities around the world have signed a manifesto (published yesterday in the French newspaper Le Monde) against the idea, recently announced by Bolsonaro and his Minister of Education, of cutting funds for Sociology and Philosophy studies. The argument for the budget cuts is the "lack of immediate return" of Human Sciences.
Hailing from universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Cambridge, the signatories include American philosopher Judith Butler (a professor at Berkeley University, California, with a PhD from Yale) and sociologists Eric Fassin (a Political Science professor at Université Paris 8) and David Paternotte (University of Brussels), O Globo reports.
The list also includes scholar from Brazilian institutions such as the University of São Paulo (USP), the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the University of Brasília (UnB), among others.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro argued that college students should focus on reading, writing and maths, rather than on Human Sciences. According to Bolsonaro, the fields that have "immediate return" are veterinary medicine, engineering and medicine. In the manifesto, the signatories quote the Brazilian president, recalling those very same arguments.
The manifesto argues that "in our democratic societies, politicians should not decide what good and bad science is. The evaluation of knowledge and of its usefulness cannot depend on the ideologies of those who are in power."