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Agency Pick Worries Brazilian Researchers

The choice of a creationist to run the agency that oversees graduate study programs in Brazil is worrying scientists there, ScienceInsider reports.

It adds that President Jair Bolsonaro selected Benedito Guimarães Aguiar Neto over the weekend to run Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), which not only oversees and regulates graduate-level programs in Brazil, but also funds scholarships for graduate students and provides training for primary and secondary educators.

Aguiar Neto, it says, is a trained electrical engineer who previously served as the rector of Mackenzie Presbyterian University, which pushes for the teaching of intelligent design. This, ScienceInsider reports, is a source of concern for Brazilian researchers, especially as Aguiar Neto himself has advocated for intelligent design to be introduced into the curriculum there.

"It is completely illogical to place someone who has promoted actions contrary to scientific consensus in a position to manage programs that are essentially of scientific training," the University of São Paulo's Antonio Carlos Marques tells ScienceInsider.