Although we live in a time when we need more science, Latin American countries are not investing enough in it. Funding is 1 or 2 percent in some cases, such as Brazil, but in others, such as Mexico, it is barely 0.3 percent of GDP, said Gabriela Ramos, director-general of the social and human sciences at the United Nations. Culture (UNESCO).
In a keynote address on public science, Ariana Bisrel, a researcher at the Autonomous State University of Mexico, warned against the commodification of knowledge due to the fact that major commercial publishers have tapped into the academic sector, directing its resources to the benefit of companies, and “made universities believe that the science they publish is the only science that matters.” “.
In the context of the Ninth Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Social Sciences, Ramos stressed that science is a human right, as well as freedom of the world and institutions, but that there must be a “stronger” commitment from governments to fund it. And make it accessible to everyone.
“We live in a moment when you need more science, more interdisciplinarity, understanding and participation, not only of those who know, but also civil society, youth, and women. Yet we also face a rejection of science and a lack of trust in it.”
Regarding the commodification of knowledge, Bisrel noted that the discourse that published science by major commercial publishers is only of quality is “the most wrong and biased thing,” but that it is also appropriate for imposing high costs of publishing and for obtaining access to information. “They are ruling and part of a voracious, ambitious and greedy regime to extract resources from the agricultural sector,” he emphasized.
Gerardo Caetano, of the University of the Republic of Uruguay, called for more research for society, for the region to stop being the most unequal in the world, and to do so by strengthening democracies. “The focus of our research should be to fundamentally change that,” he said.