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Cartas com Ciência

Programmes of letter exchanges between scientists and students in Portuguese-speaking countries

There are 9 countries in the world where Portuguese is an official language; 8 are developing countries, 5 of which belong to the UN list of Least Developed Countries. Cartas com Ciência creates conversations between scientists and students in those countries to promote access to what science is and who can be a scientist, valuing pupils' voices and experiences to nurture a feeling that science can be for them if they wish so. 



A world with equal opportunities

for all children



Each student finds their value in knowledge, education and science

Our action

To create spaces for dialogue between pupils & scientists in Portuguese-speaking countries

Our target audience

We especially want to reach students from low-income communities, who statistically have less access to scientific initiatives and are less likely to enter higher education and scientific careers.

Learn more about our programmes here.

How it started

Fotografia de Mariana Alves e Rafael Galupa

"Cartas com Ciência" was officially launched on the first World Portuguese Language Day (5th May 2020) by two scientists, Mariana Alves and Rafael Galupa. Inhabited by the will to contribute to a more just and equal world, Mariana and Rafael saw the idea of scientists and students exchanging letters in the Portuguese-speaking world as an opportunity to democratize science and education. Cartas com Ciência is inspired by the US programme Letters to a Pre-Scientist.

Cartas com Ciência was incubated by Native Scientists from February 2020 to May 2023.

Get to know the entire team behind Cartas com Ciência here .

Our model


Scientists in general are poorly prepared for explaining their work to non-experts.


We provide training and experience on science communication to researchers from various backgrounds and career stages, to empower them to establish more meaningful interactions with society.



Most Portuguese-speaking countries are rated as low income or lower-medium income by the World Bank, and many have literacy rates of 55-70% (UNESCO).


We work with teachers and pupils in these countries to promote science and language literacy, as well as educational and career aspirations, through individual and one-year long exchanges between pupils and scientists.


Portuguese is spoken by more than 250 million people across the world (SIL International). Yet, for many children in Portuguese-speaking countries, Portuguese is the school language but not the home language.


We promote Portuguese as a language of knowledge and opportunities, and of solidarity and cooperation between Portuguese-speaking countries.


Society in general has a low science capital, and prejudices towards science and scientists, as well developing countries.

Through our communication channels, we want to help breaking these stereotypes,  and to improve attitudes towards education, science and diversity.

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