Observations on government policy toward science

The Toca Science Society is a microcosm of national and even global political debate. It is an expression of diverse visions, opinions and ways of seeing life. For this reason, it is so contrary to the nature of CPIs that one can speak for the entire academic community without acknowledging the richness of this diversity which even, in its multiplicity of members, generates its own. Scientific knowledge. I am writing this in connection with a statement made on behalf of the Faculty of Scholars of the Mora Institute, an institution for which I have worked for more than 20 years, and which, according to our statutes, has subscribed to public office, even though there may be a diversity of voices and opinions contributing to the debate or Contradicts the feeling of the simple majority. However, in order to preserve freedom of expression, it has been suggested that those of us who hold positions different from those stated in the said statement may express our views publicly.

In my case, I have notes beyond the statement issued on behalf of the College of Scholars where I work and some text published by colleagues and analysts regarding a Public Law Initiative on Humanities, Technology, and Innovation (HCTI Law), which the Executive Branch has submitted to the Federal Congress and which will soon open another debate for approval. in the end.

In the first place, it seems to me, there is a confusion of origin in this discussion, because in public discourse the different scientific productions tend to be equated with the same trend from the case of the general centers where work is done for production. Scientific findings are in a great diversity of fields. This means that although scientific production is an activity that can be professional and remunerative, it is also carried out and often without being attached to an enterprise and without any economic retaliation from more domestic, societal or even commercial spheres. In other words, not all scientists are in research centers, and science is not limited to what CONACyT curates. It seems obvious, but making this point as the same has led some to omit the fact that those of us who work as scientists in public institutions are subject to rules and principles that have always been seen as strategic for underpinning the country’s future. This has been the case for decades and there is nothing new about it. Working in a public institution implies being part of the working structure of the state itself and has always meant subjecting itself to some guidelines and guidelines designed by those who direct scientific policy. Undoubtedly, this trend brings with it the bias of the political project to the ruling group, which has always been the case, and whoever said that this was not the case before may simply not have realized it at the time.

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There is another point that is repeated in some scientific communities and deserves to be salvaged, which is that the opinion of scholars has not been taken into account in order to put the law initiative under discussion today. Conversely, however, this is perhaps the first time that many previously silenced voices have been taken into account. Among those voices, there are probably not many who today see only setbacks and no progress, but frankly, the former governing bodies of the various CONACyT efforts, especially for the institutions that fall as non-strategic to the economic model we had. For decades, it has been little thought of and even publicly belittled (there are examples in administrations like Carlos Pazdrich, Juan Carlos Romero, and Enrique Cabrero).
From this same logic, it is repeated that the draft law will restrict the freedom of investigation. This idea is based on a false dichotomy that asserts that if the Science Policy Directorate proposes an agenda that “identifies local and regional needs and problems and includes proposals created by the community itself, including towns, communities, indigenous people, Afro-Mexicans, peasants, and the like (Article 11)” this will result in to a lack of freedom of investigation. Honestly, for me at least, even paraphrasing does not allow us to understand this conclusion. The more clarity of the national problem as proposed lines of investigation, the less freedom of investigation? This point also shows that many members of the scientific community do not have memory, because the idea that research projects take into account the agenda of major national problems, is at least 20 years old, when Conacyt’s science policy in those years opened up options for presenting projects, both scientific and applied on Both, in an effort to motivate scholars to approach what today would be “the prevention of, concern for, and solution to national problems.” This does not mean that each individual personally and based on his interests is obliged to change his line of scientific expertise, but as before, there is an explicit intention to identify projects that take into account the national reality more strategically within the framework of the environment. Universal, which is always the case with science, no matter how abstract.

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One point that has been mentioned as a concern by the public research centers, but not as much as the demand for more democracy in the CPIs themselves, is the initiative within the law, to create a board of directors that appoints the directors of these public research centers. The details are that the appointment of directors, until now, is a direct attribution of the Presidency of the Republic through the current director of CONACyT. There is no community intervention except at the advisory level. So, in fact, this would be an opportunity to request that the members of each center be formally considered in these appointments, as well as to maintain a completely independent administrative career to avoid excessive bureaucracy, in which I agree with the voices warning against generation. New mechanisms and cases of external appointment.

Two last points I can’t resist making because they are like the story of Pedro and the Wolf. One, the non-monetary suggestion that the bill eliminates the 1% contribution to GDP that the legislation has put in place for years without being asked to specify how to replace that responsibility. While it is important to clearly demand a commitment to state funding, the only bad thing is that this argument starts from omitting that, for decades of state policy towards the flag, even 10% of that commitment was not met and when the budget reached a certain limit. Slack, it has been transferred to structures outside the dynamics of the CPIs themselves and even to private and transnational companies. Finally, the second point of inference without support (unless someone has accurate information and not just malicious assumptions) is that proposing to articulate CPI into groups for faster coordination, will inevitably lead to a loss of independence and even the disappearance of some CPI. The assertion of the latter is so grave that it cannot be mentioned simply as a possibility, without mentioning what this opinion is based on from the text of the law itself. It goes without saying that since the beginning of the six-year term there have been voices pointing to this possibility in an attempt to worry, worry and, above all, disqualify a process which must, in any case, be revised and doubts cleared, but I do not think that the intention that the science produced can be questioned Funded by the state he must seek to be more directly associated with the nation to which he is indebted.
Leticia Calderon Chelios

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Myrtle Frost

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