• Two Lillys
all stories

José Reis


At Instituto Biológico, Lilly worked mainly with José Reis, author of countless publications about bird diseases, which became a reference in the country in the field of scientific dissemination.

During the years she contributed to Instituto Biológico, from 1931 to 1935, Lilly made illustrations and photomicrographies mainly for the research in bird diseases carried out by José Reis in the Avian Pathology Department. José Reis was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1907 and studied Medicine in the federal capital at the time. He took a specialization course at Manguinhos, directed by Oswaldo Cruz, and in 1929 got an invitation to work in São Paulo in Instituto Biológico’s Animal Division.

José Reis published books about avian diseases and wrote countless brochures of scientific dissemination to breeders in the State of São Paulo. Instituto Biológico published around 80 brochures on diseases and pests in plants, birds, cattle, rabbits and others until 1940. José Reis expanded his scientific dissemination work in the 40s and began writing for daily newspapers such as the Estado de S. Paulo and Folha de S. Paulo (a collaboration, which began in 1947, still while in Folha da Noite, and lasted until his death in 2002). He was editor-in-chief in the 60s. José Reis also wrote for agricultural journals such as Chácaras e Quintais and O Campo, children’s books and for a weekly program in the former Rádio Excelsior about scientific dissemination in the form of theatrical stories.

José Reis became one of the most important science promoters in the country and was awarded the Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science given by UNESCO in 1974 and the John R. Reitmeyer Prize by the Pan-American Union and the International American Press Association. For his work, the National Council for the Development of Science and Technology (CNPq) instituted, in 1979, the José Reis Prize for Scientific Promotion in three categories: “Science Journalism”, “Science Promotion” and “Institution”.

Lilly Ebstein Lowenstein (1897-1966) led a life between science and art, drawing and taking photographs in the fields of Medicine and Zoology. In her work, Lilly combined her technical knowledge of photography and drawing, the study of the sciences and a remarkable talent for aesthetics. She was born in Germany and studied at the Lette-Verein School in Berlin from 1911 to 1914. In 1925, she immigrated with her husband and two children to São Paulo. In 1926, she became an illustrator and photomicrographer at the Illustration and Photography Department at the School of Medicine (USP, as of 1934), which she headed for thirty years after 1932. Lilly collaborated at Instituto Biológico de Defesa Agrícola e Animal (the Biological Institute for the Defense of Agriculture and Animals), from 1930 to 1935, namely in the Avian Pathology Department. A life with art dedicated to the research and dissemination of science.