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ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting

General Information

Conference Location

This page provides information about Brazil, São Paulo, the University of São Paulo (USP), and the Institute of Biosciences.


Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until the 19th century. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil. During the 19th century, Brazil had two kings. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d’état.

Brazil is a federation composed of 26 States, one Federal district (which contains the capital city, Brasília). The states and the federal district may be grouped into regions: Northern, Northeast, Central-West, Southeast and Southern. The Brazilian regions are merely geographical, not political or administrative divisions, and they do not have any specific form of government.

The word “Brazil” comes from brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast. In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil. The word “brasil” means “red like an ember”, formed from Latin “brasa” (ember). As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was highly valued by the European cloth industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil.

Brazil is the largest country in South America. In area, Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world. Its land area is 8,460,415 km² (3,266,584 square miles). For comparison: the land area of Russia is 16,377,742 km², that of China 9,326,410 km², United States 9,161,966 km², and Canada 9,093,507 km². Brazil also contains the 5th largest population in the world (estimated 204,000,000 people, in 2015). It is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world. 

Brazil includes 13 of the 50 largest cities in the Americas: São Paulo (11,895,000 people), Rio de Janeiro (6,453,000), Salvador (2,903,000), Brasília (2,852,000), Fortaleza (2,572,000), Belo Horizonte (2,491,000), Manaus (2,020,000), Curitiba (1,864,000), Recife (1,608,000), Porto Alegre (1,472,000), Belém (1,432,000), Goiânia (1,412,000), Guarulhos (1,312,000); those numbers do not include the metropolitan area of those cities.

Brazil has a dense and complex system of rivers, one of the world’s most extensive, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic. Major rivers include the Amazon (the world’s second-longest river and the largest in terms of volume of water), the Paraná and its major tributary the Iguaçu (which includes the Iguazu Falls), the Negro, São Francisco, Xingu, Madeira and Tapajós rivers.

Brazil’s large territory comprises different ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest, recognized as having the greatest biological diversity in the world, with the Atlantic Forest , the Caatinga and the Cerrado. In the south, the Araucaria pine forest grows under temperate conditions. The rich wildlife of Brazil reflects the variety of natural habitats. Scientists estimate that the total number of plant and animal species in Brazil could approach four million, mostly invertebrates.

Larger mammals include carnivores (pumas, jaguars, ocelots, rare bush dogs, and foxes), and herbivores or insectivorous (peccaries, tapirs, anteaters, sloths, and armadillos). Deer are plentiful in the south, and many species of New World monkeys are found in the northern rain forests. Concern for the environment has grown in response to global interest in environmental issues. Brazil’s Amazon Basin is home to an extremely diverse array of fish species, including the red-bellied piranha.

Brazil’s economy is among the world’s 10 largest, both by nominal GDP and by GDP (PPP) as of 2015. The country has been expanding its presence in international financial and commodities markets, and is one of a group of five emerging economies called the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Brazil has a mixed economy with abundant natural resources. Major export products include aircraft, electrical equipment, automobiles, ethanol, textiles, footwear, iron ore, steel, coffee, orange juice, soybeans and corned beef. In total, Brazil ranks 23rd worldwide in value of exports.

Additional information about Brazil:


The city of São Paulo is the capital of São Paulo State. It was founded in the early 16th century – and some of its early buildings have been preserved and can be visited. The city of São Paulo grew with the arrival of large waves of immigrants beginning at the end of the 19th century, followed by migrants from other parts of Brazil in the early 20th century. They were first attracted by the coffee plantations and later by industry and the services sector. In this way, the city grew and new traditions took root. 

Nowadays, the population of the city of São Paulo is about 11,900,000 inhabitants (2014 data). Taking into account the whole metropolitan area, which includes 38 cities around the capital, the population is almost 19,000,000 inhabitants.

Fascinating, São Paulo is a superlative metropolis in everything, even in diversity. Besides being an important economic and financial hub, the capital of the State of São Paulo is one of the main centers for the development of new trends, culture and entertainment in Brazil.

São Paulo enjoys a high-altitude tropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 19ºC (66ºF). In July, wintertime in the South Hemisphere, temperatures tend to range between 11° and 23°C (52° to 73°F). In São Paulo, during this time of the year, days are sunny and dry, with temperatures that rarely drop below 15ºC – but a cold snap, with temperatures close to 5ºC, or a heat wave with temperatures near 30ºC, may sometimes occur.

July is the month of the Brazilian winter academic break, making a substantial number of rooms available for the conference at the university. As there are school holidays during the entire month of July, the traffic is much better than in other periods.

Flights from all over the world arrive at the International Airport of São Paulo, in Guarulhos (airport code GRU). São Paulo is a truly cosmopolitan city, with a huge variety of restaurants, entertainments, museums, and other facilities found in major cities around the world. Students and faculty will be enticed by the number of opportunities to enjoy São Paulo, including a significant number of free cultural events.

Seething cauldron of styles and cultures with more than 70 nationalities – such as “Mooca” and “Bexiga” (which are italian migrants neighborhoods) and “Bairro da Liberdade” (which harbors the world’s largest Japanese community outside of Japan). In Liberdade, one cannot miss to try the best sushi and sashimi in Brazil.

São Paulo is the biggest center of culture and entertainment in South America: over 280 cinemas, 180 theaters, about 90 cultural centers, 110 museums, and numerous nightclubs. Not to mention the shopping facilities – with 79 malls and dozens of specialized shopping streets. And the food – above 12,500 restaurants, with 52 types of cuisine from all over the world. For reasons like this, it is well worth discovering this global city, full of knowledge, trends, colors and smells.


Created in 1934, the University of São Paulo (USP) is one of the most important higher education institutions in Brazil and South America.

The international vocation of the University of São Paulo (USP) stems from its very foundation, in 1934, through the union of already existing schools and the relevant role played by foreign professors, especially French, Italian and German, who came to teach at the former School of Philosophy, Sciences and Literature. Among the famous scientists who taught at USP we find, for instance, the geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky. The later division of this School resulted in a large number of the university’s schools and institutes.

The main campus of the University of São Paulo is located in São Paulo city. That is the place where the ISHPSSB 2017 meeting will happen. In order to carry out its activities, USP counts on various campuses, distributed in the cities of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Piracicaba, São Carlos, Santos, Pirassununga, Bauru and Lorena, besides museums and research centers located outside these spaces and in different municipalities.

USP offers 249 undergraduate programs, dedicated to all fields of knowledge, distributed in 42 units of learning and research and offered to more than 58 thousand students. The graduate level teaching is composed of 239 programs (with 332 Master Degree courses and 309 Ph.D. courses), offered to more than 28 thousand students.

The central administration of USP, various teaching and research units (including the Institute of Biosciences), the Residential Complex and the Center of Sports are all located on the Armando de Salles Oliveira university campus, close to a neighborhood called “Butantã”, in the West region of the city of São Paulo. This is where the meeting will take place.


The Institute of Biosciences (IB-USP) is one of the most important centers of biological research in the country. Placed in the most pleasant location of the entire campus, the buildings and facilities of the Institute of Biosciences are situated in the middle of a forest reserve. The simultaneous sections of the conference will occur in four buildings of the Institute, located very close to each other.

The Institute of Biosciences of University of São Paulo is responsible for the Biological Sciences undergraduate course and several graduate courses. It develops teaching, research and community outreach activities. It consists of five departments: Genetics and Evolutionary Biology; Physiology; Botany; Zoology; and Ecology. Each one of those departments has its own Graduate Program. It also features a Forest Reserve and a Center for Human Genome Studies. Its research facilities include a Laboratory of Electron Microscopy, Laboratory of Bees, Herbarium, Phytoterium and a Science Teacher Education Laboratory. The library has a collection of rare and special books, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Institute of Biosciences of USP is a nationally famous research center. The organization of the ISHPSSB 2017 conference at IB-USP will attract many Brazilian and South-American researchers from related areas to participate in this event.

ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting   
International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB)   
Associação Brasileira de Filosofia e História da Biologia (ABFHiB)   
São Paulo, Brazil, 16 to 21 July, 2017   

São Paulo, Brazil
16 to 21 July, 2017

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