Alumni Uni Würzburg - 1000 Careers One Story

Dr. Lilian Nassi Calò, Brazil

1. Please describe your (scientific) work/research in a short way.

I am the Coordinator of Scholarly Communication at BIREME, which is a specialized Center of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in São Paulo, Brazil.

The Center’s mission is to contribute to the development of health in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean through the democratization of access, publication and use of scientific information, knowledge and evidence.

My job is related to improve the quality of scientific and technical report in the region through online and face to face scholarly communication courses aimed at researchers, journal editors, health professionals and graduate students. I also assist journal editors to improve the editorial management of the journals in aspects related to research and publication ethics, best practices on peer review and Open Science, and related subjects. The courses are provided in Portuguese, Spanish, English and French, which are the four languages spoken in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

I also write for a Scholarly Communication blog and participate at many congresses and meetings to disseminate the latest trends in the field.

2. Which aspect of a sustainable life, work and research is especially relevant for you and why?

The work of PAHO/WHO is strongly guided by the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 3 (Health), but also SDG 4 (Education) and SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation).

It is well known that scientific knowledge is essential and inherent to the advancement of research, education and methodological and technological innovations, and that access and dissemination of open scientific knowledge empowers researchers and professionals committed to the common good.

By empowering decision makers to design public policies based on accurate, relevant and up-to-date information so that their actions are based on coproduction with scientific, professional and social actors. Assisted by digital technologies, we could facilitate democratization of access to information and the systematic and continuous improvement of people’s health, which is PAHO’s raison d’être.

Our work at BIREME, to contributing to improve disseminate scientific information, knowledge and evidence, helps to achieve the health, education and sanitation goals of SDG.

3. What would be your wish for the future (and why) with this regard?

I wish we could reach as many people as possible through online capacity building, but the face to face contact is also very important. By making virtual courses available, we can reduce the time of each mission, making possible to visit 2-3 countries in a week, let’s say, instead of only one, if it were to teach the complete course in presence. That’s what we are working on, right now.

Because of the current Corona crisis I would add the following question:

4. How is the Corona crisis affecting you in your every-day life and work?

Since March 16th, we are working from home, since it is a kind of work that allows us to do so. We keep connected through e-mails, video conferences, phone and message apps. I contact my supervisor every day by e-mail and when required, by Skype meetings, also with other colleagues. Once a month we have a conference call with all people to share recent developments and challenges. We also are in close contact to PAHO HQ in Washington DC weekly and to PAHO offices in the countries when needed. I would say that home office did not affect our work, except for traveling to attend meetings, conferences and courses, which is an important part of our technical cooperation activity with nearly all Latin America and Caribbean countries.