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Deaths: Dedicated to the history of Brazilian science and technology

Publicado em 07 abril 2021

Science has lost historian Shozo Motoyama, a professional dedicated to training researchers and teachers and the history of institutions that promote science and technology.

For the scientific director of FAPESP (São Paulo State Research Support Foundation), Luiz Eugênio Mello, Shozo made a fundamental contribution to the preservation of relevant aspects of the history and development of science and technology in Brazil.

“I got to know Shozo from the reference of professor José Fernando Perez, who was FAPESP’s scientific director for over 15 years. I learned to respect him for everything I heard from him and for the concrete work he left, which is palpable. It lent its relevance to FAPESP ”, says the researcher.

An important part of the activity developed by Shozo was dedicated to the foundation.

More than 35 books bear his signature, along with those by Amélia Hamburger, Marilda Nagamini and other collaborators. Shozo also signs more than fifty chapters in books on the history of science, technology and innovation in Brazil.

Shozo had a degree in physics from USP. He started an academic career guided by Mário Schenberg. When “his godfather” was impeached by AI-5, he was then hired by the Institute of Physics and concluded his doctorate in Sciences with a thesis on Galileo Galilei and the logic of scientific development. In the field of physics, he did post-doctorate in Japan.

In addition to a retired professor of History of Science at the Department of History at the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences of the University of São Paulo, he coordinated the Nucleus of History of Science and Technology in Brazil at Unesco, was secretary-general of the Brazilian Society of History of Science and director of the USP Science History Interunit Center.

Son of immigrants, Shozo published books on Japanese immigration, was director of the Historical Museum of Japanese Immigration in Brazil and chaired the Center for Japanese-Brazilian Studies.

Member of seat number 15 of the Academia Paulista de História, he was honored in 2009 by the Brazilian Society for the History of Science and two years later by the Union of Engineers in the State of São Paulo.

Shozo Motoyama died on January 26, at the age of 81. He leaves his wife, two children and three grandchildren, as well as an important legacy for the national scientific memory.

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