Sir — Fernando C. Reinach addresses important questions on science and technology development in Latin American countries (Nature 392, 647–648; 1998).
A big drawback in our public universities in Brazil is that salaries are not based on productivity. Whether one likes it or not, that is unrealistic in present times. Unfortunately, corporatism is so strong and entrenched in Brazil's academic community that change will only happen if imposed by the government. This, of course, will provoke strikes, and waste time and money.
The problem is that, the more the academic community resists change, the greater is the risk of losing support from society, and therefore of the flowering of private, profit-making universities. This will have severe consequences for science.