What therapies should the SUS (Brazil’s publicly funded health care system) offer to patients? Do genetically modified organisms pose any danger to consumers? What do budget cuts in agencies like CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) mean in practice? What are the management and governance structures of public universities like? Brazil suffers from a chronic lack of organized, transparent and accessible information about public policies in science, technology and innovation. Today, nobody systematically monitors how public agents deal with scientific knowledge – whether by financing its production or using it to support good decisions. The proposal of the Observatório de Políticas Científicas (Scientific Policy Observatory), organized by the Instituto Questão de Ciência, is to offer data, analysis and training in this area, advocating for rational and effective public policies.