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The following Diploma of the Degree of Doctor of Civil Law was read by the Public Orator when the degree was conferred in a Congregation held on Thursday, 14 November 2002.

His Excellency FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO, President of The Federative Republic of Brazil


CVM diu ex more nobis fuerit civitatum externarum Praesides praecipuo aliquo honore quantum possumus insignire, eosque praesertim quorum labores et civibus suis et universae litterarum reipublicae profuerunt:

CVMque Vir Excellentissimus FERNANDVS HENRICVS CARDOSO, Rei Publicae Foederatae Braziliensis Praeses, civitati praesideat quae nobiscum semper summis societatis amicitiaeque vinculis coniuncta est:

CVMque tam in academia quam in senatu excellat, qui et apud suos et in compluribus aliis universitatibus cathedras obtinuerit:

CVMque libros exaraverit politicos oeconomicos historicos, quibus apud peritiores singularem consecutus est laudem:

CVMque propter doctrinam aciem industriam suam summis honoribus cum domi tum peregre sit ornatus:

CVMque a vita illa umbratili ad reipublicae gubernacula capessenda avocatus plurimos maximi momenti magistratus gesserit:

CVMque rem pecuniariam tam bene gubernaverit ut aerarium summis angustiis impeditum expedierit, in firmamento stabili reposuerit:

CVMque patriae suae Praeses abhinc octo annos omnium plausu creatus sit:

CVMque se libertatis cum privatae tum publicae vindicem defensoremque praestiterit acerrimum:

CVMque rerum Braziliensium studia, quae nuper promovit civium admirabilis liberalitas, ita apud nos floreant ut antea numquam:

NOS ERGO, tanti viri doctrinam prudentiam humanitatem admirati, in frequenti Congregationis Domo praedictum Praesidem DOCTOREM in Iure Civili renuntiamus eumque vi ac virtute huius Diplomatis omnibus iuribus et privilegiis adficimus quae ad hunc gradum spectant.



WHEREAS it has long been our custom to confer such honours as are in our power on the Heads of other nations, and more particularly on those whose achievements have conferred benefits both on their own citizens and on the Republic of Letters as a whole:

AND WHEREAS His Excellency FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO, President of The Federative Republic of Brazil, is the President of a country with which we have long enjoyed the most friendly relations:

AND WHEREAS he is no less distinguished in scholarship than in political affairs, having held Chairs at Universities both in his own country and abroad:

AND WHEREAS he has published books on politics, economics, and history, which have won him very great distinction:

AND WHEREAS he has been awarded many high honours for his scholarship, his insight, and his productiveness:

AND WHEREAS he was called from the life of study to the helm of the ship of state and has held the highest offices:

AND WHEREAS he managed the financial affairs of his country, at a time of crisis, so well that he was able to establish them on a secure foundation:

AND WHEREAS he was elected President eight years ago, to general acclaim:

AND WHEREAS he has proved himself to be a resolute and effective defender of liberty, both individual and also collective:

AND WHEREAS Brazilian Studies are flourishing here as never before, with the help of most generous contributions from citizens of Brazil:

NOW THEREFORE WE, in admiration of his scholarship, wisdom, and culture, do here in this full House of Congregation pronounce the aforesaid President a DOCTOR in our Faculty of Civil Law, and by the virtue and power of this Diploma we invest him with all the rights and privileges which belong to that Degree.

HIS EXCELLENCY made the following reply:

I receive this honorary degree from the University of Oxford as a gesture of renewed appreciation towards Brazil and its people. I have always been an admirer of Oxford. I am aware of the service this University has rendered to British parliamentary democracy, from Gladstone to Tony Blair, not to mention the Oxonians who have made history in the fields of diplomacy and finance. May I also pay tribute to the thinkers who fostered the English liberal tradition in Oxford, like Isaiah Berlin, a true apostle of freedom and pluralism.

I am somewhat familiar with the British academic world. In the seventies I taught at a neighbouring university, founded by Oxford dissidents, but which has been able to maintain a correct and enriching relationship with its Alma Mater. At least, that was what Lord Jenkins assured us in a 1988 lecture at Cambridge.

I am a former Cambridge fellow, but I am glad that there have been quite a few Brazilian lecturers and students who managed to benefit from the hospitality and excellence of Oxford. The creation of the Centre for Brazilian Studies confirms Oxford as a space for research and reflection on Brazil.

In fact, Britain has never ceased to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge about Brazil. Allow me to step back in time and cite some seminal works. I remember the account of Maria Graham's voyage, an inspired portrait of our early years. She also left us a sketch of the colonial experience. Then came the classical work of Robert Southey, who, without ever setting foot in our country, charted Brazil's historic evolution with remarkable accuracy. As we know, the history of Brazil was to become a rich vein for British researchers. A few years ago, we lost Charles Boxer, who left a vital legacy for those trying to understand the decline of the Portuguese Empire. But the beginnings of independence and of monarchical Brazil can still count on outstanding scholars such as Kenneth Maxwell and Leslie Bethell.

At the same time, Britain has always been part of the Brazilian imagination. The fascination is reciprocal. I am not only referring to the importance of British ideas for Brazilian culture, as shown in the dialogue between Machado de Assis and Lawrence Sterne and in the presence of Anglo-Saxon constitutionalism in Rui Barbosa. I also have in mind those Brazilians who thought about the British experience. And they did it, invariably, with a positive note.

Joaquim Nabuco is a good example. In his autobiographical essay, Minha Formação, England—where he served as a diplomat—is a major theme. Nabuco talks about a London that, of all cities, made the most profound impression on him, because of its stability and stateliness, but also because of its restraint and urbanity. He praises the English spirit, the unwritten norm of behaviour that the whole of England seemed to follow: the coexistence of tradition and progress.

Nabuco wrote in the late nineteenth century, a century that for many appeared to last more than a hundred years, so lasting were its effects. His words sounded like a guarantee that, whatever the course of history, England would be present, without disruption and with an eye to the future.

Gilberto Freyre was no less forceful in showing his appreciation of the English nature. He favoured the silent characters of history. Asa Briggs even placed him as the forerunner of material history or, if you so prefer, the history of private life. In Ingleses no Brasil (Englishmen in Brazil), Freyre built a mosaic of the activities of English tailors, mechanics, workers, circus artists, photographers, dressmakers, and actresses who lived in Brazil in the second half of the nineteenth century.

For him, the Englishman had a major role in spreading across the world the tropical experience in its most varied manifestations, from popular customs to dwellings, from cooking to rites, from churches to plantations. Hence the comparison that Gilberto Freyre makes between the English and the Brazilian way of life. Englishmen and Brazilians know how to respect the difference even if this implies a difficult balancing act. This was only possible, he concludes, because of the presence in the tropics of the typically English virtue of `compromise'.

The same observation was made by José Honório Rodrigues when highlighting the spirit of reform and conciliation in the evolution of Brazilian society.

There are, in fact, many points in common between our peoples. Today, we are working together within the Progressive Governance network. We coincide in the continuous search for an optimum balance between State and market. Following our own paths, we have learnt how important it is to reconcile justice and efficiency.

This challenge is particularly urgent in Brazil because of the magnitude of social needs—but this has not put at risk respect for dissent. On the contrary—if there is one thing that is visible on the Brazilian political horizon, it is, as I have often pointed out, the spreading of democracy. It is the reinforcing of the participation of society in managing public affairs.

Today's Brazil, like never before, is the true expression of its people. It carries the sign of hope, of pluralism. Pluralism of ethnic groups, beliefs, and customs, which also shape a vision of the world.

We want a world where diversity is the rule and not a heresy. Where tolerance is a virtue, not a vice.

Isaiah Berlin was fond of the Kantian expression that `out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made'. It was his Leitmotiv against absolute paradigms. He preferred reality as it was: plural, without definitive answers, no matter how liberating they sounded.

That is the direction in which Brazil would like the world community to move. To move towards the Utopia of a democratic global governance, guided by respect for multilateral norms. We have grown by interaction with others. We wish to continue to prosper in dialogue with the world.

Once again, I thank the University of Oxford for the honour that, through me, it grants to the Brazilian people.

Thank you very much.

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The composition of the electoral board to the post below, proceedings to fill which are currently in progress, is as follows:
Whitley Professorship of Biochemistry

Professor S.D. Iversen

(Chairman) Mr Vice-Chancellor [1] The President of Trinity ex officio Professor D.J. Sherratt Council Professor R. Laskey Council Professor Sir John Walker Life and Environmental Sciences Board Professor R.A. Dwek Life and Environmental Sciences Board Professor P.C. Newell Life and Environmental Sciences Board Professor J.I. Bell Medical Sciences Board Professor L.C. Madadevan Trinity College Professor D. Mant Kellogg College

[1] Appointed by Mr Vice-Chancellor under the provisions of Sects. 10 and 11 of Statute IX (Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4633, 9 October 2002, p. 108).

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McDonnell Visiting Fellowships

The McDonnell Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience is closely integrated with the Medical Research Council Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at Oxford and supports work on many aspects of brain research relevant to human cognition in several departments at Oxford University as well as at other institutions.

The McDonnell Centre encourages work in all areas of cognitive neuroscience across all relevant disciplines and embraces research on experimental, theoretical, and clinical studies of perceptual analysis, memory, language, and motor control, including philosophical approaches to cognition. Current and fuller information on the Centre is available on the Web at

The Centre offers several forms of support including Visiting Fellowships for distinguished researchers from overseas or elsewhere in Britain who wish to work within the Oxford Centre for periods between a week and several months. A Visiting Fellowship can include a modest grant to help with costs of travel and accommodation (but not a stipend), and to pay a bench fee to the host department.

Applications for Visiting Fellowships may be submitted either by a member of the Oxford Centre, or by the intended visitor. There is no special form for applications but they should include the following information: name, address, and status of applicant (in the form of a very brief curriculum vitae); names and addresses of collaborators in Oxford; a brief description (a page or two) of the proposed research; a list of any publications that have already resulted from the area of research; an outline plan of visit/s and expenditure, with total estimated budget, other sources of funding and the amount requested

Applications can be submitted at any time (e-mail is acceptable) to Sally Harte (Administrative Secretary), McDonnell Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University Laboratory of Physiology, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT (telephone: Oxford (2)72497, fax: (2)72488, e-mail:

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Forthcoming exhibition

Sensibility/Decadence: pastels and oils by architect Sitov and artist Evelyne Glyne (25 November–13 December)

The exhibition is open subject to college commitments—intending visitors are advised to check with the college by telephoning Oxford (2)74100 before visiting.

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Piano recital

DANNY DRIVER will give a piano recital at 8 p.m. on Friday, 6 December, in the Maison Française. The programme will be: Bach, French Suite No. 5 in G major; Mozart, Sonata in D Major, K.576; Debussy: Three Preludes; Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit.

Admission free. All welcome. For further information, telephone Oxford (2)74220, or e- mail:

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