The Municipal Library José Mariano Gago, in Olhão, was the stage chosen for the closing, yesterday, Tuesday, of the celebrations of the 25 years of the creation of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Portugal (1995-2020).
The Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, chaired the session, which was attended by the president of the municipality, António Miguel Pina, and several personalities linked to education, science and technology, regional and national.
The choice of Olhão and the municipal library whose patron is the ex-governor who died in 2015 for the closing of the celebrations program, which took place throughout the year, was “of a high symbolic value”, since it intended to honor José Mariano Gago.
The eminent university professor, scientist and politician with family origins in the parish of Pechão (Olhão) was the first figure to assume the portfolio of Science and Technology, in the ministry created in 1995 by António Guterres.
“Twenty five years after the creation of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Portugal, today we can say that betting on knowledge has to be our commitment for the future and requires strong, autonomous scientific institutions open to training, scientific employment, creativity and the new frontiers of knowledge, in order to face the new societal, financial and cultural challenges that emerge in Portugal and Europe ”, stressed the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
For Manuel Heitor, the development of Portuguese scientific and technological capacity during the last decades “represents today a new reality to value Portugal and the Portuguese in the world”.
The minister left a compliment to professionals who do science and develop technology in Portugal, and who "knew how to put collective interests before any individual or corporate interests, to effectively promote and stimulate scientific development at the best international level" and create in the country "European reference institutions".
The session was opened by the leader of the Olhão municipality, António Miguel Pina, who underlined the visibility that scientific research and technology have assumed, especially over the last few months, during the pandemic.
"The University of Algarve has assumed a major role at national level with regard to research and the fight against this virus, coming to prove, once again, how important it is to invest in science", he said.
The celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Ministry of Science and Technology took place throughout the year 2020, with debates, conferences, concerts and exhibitions, which took place on various stages across the country.
The agenda ended in Olhão with the launch of the «Science & Knowledge» collection, an initiative of the government commissioned by the bookseller and anthropologist Luís Gomes, who reissued the first editions of eight works relevant to the promotion of scientific culture, such as «The Origin of Species », By Charles Darwin, or« Algebra in Arithmetic and Geometry Book », by Pedro Nunes.
The collection will be offered to educational establishments, libraries, schools and Ciência Viva Clubs across the country.