Zientzilaria

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Memories

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Crodowaldo Pavan during the Sociedade Brasilei...

Image via [Wikipedia](http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Crodowaldo_Pavan_60%C2%B0_SBPC.jpg)

(I’m really behind on my promise to post 365 in 365, four to keep the average on 1, three to go after this one)

In mid-October I went to Brazil, first to attend the 2009 X-Meeting in Angra dos Reis and for a first vacation period since 2005. When I moved to Canada, I wasn’t able to bring all the scientific literature I had amassed over the years, mostly stuff about frogs, evolution and phylogenetics. Nowadays printed or copied papers and out-of-date, PDF is the new in, so I decided to throw away most of the things I would be able to recover online later, but still keep some copies of rare stuff and original copies of papers.

Some of the original copies I saved where from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, and some of these contained the stamp that they belonged to Dr Crodowaldo Pavan (you can know more about his distinguished career on his Wikipedia entry). Dr Pavan died early in 2009, so these papers with his stamp now have more than its scientific merits, they have some sentimental value (for me at least). I got them when he was cleaning his office at the Biosciences Institute at USP, where he worked good part of his life.

I never had a lot of personal interaction with Dr Pavan, but I always read and learned about his work. But the strongest impact that I have from one of his presentations ( I think it was a round table) was in fact what I heard after it: Dr Pavan was an old fool and shouldn’t be invited to any other conference because his ideas were idiotic. This happened at one of the Brazilian Meeting of Genetics (mid/late 90’s), the most important genetics conference in Brazil, organized by the society that Dr Pavan helped creating and managing.

Don’t be surprised, that’s the way Brazil and Brazilians really treat the ones that accomplished something, the ones the opened the paths. Very typical, but I’m quite sure that Dr Pavan’s obituary(ies) was(ere) poetic and well-written, praising (deservedly) his career and work. I guess it was to late then to pay some respect while he was still alive.

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