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After the resignation of the head of science, the situation in the sector worsens  Alejandro Cosentino took over from former Chief of Staff Nicolas Bosse

After the resignation of the head of science, the situation in the sector worsens Alejandro Cosentino took over from former Chief of Staff Nicolas Bosse

Alejandro Cosentino joins a string of officials who have recently abandoned the libertarian ship. Until this week, the person who served as Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology (formerly MinCyT) resigned from his position. He was a man from the world of finance who had been brought into the scientific portfolio by Nicolas Bossi, and since the chief of staff was no longer there, Cosentino did the same. He leaves amid a strong adjustment and a noticeable lack of budget implementation for the sector responsible for producing scientific knowledge in the country.

This newspaper consulted him, Juan Pablo PazThe former Secretary of Scientific and Technological Communication at the Ministry in the previous administration points out: “Cosentino was undoubtedly one of the most disastrous officials in the sector. It demonstrated the political decision to destroy the scientific system, which led to the non-implementation of the budget.“Basic measures such as launching the supercomputer, as well as investment in public works, in modernizing equipment, have paralyzed everything,” he continues energetically. Hopefully it will be replaced with something better, although there’s not much hope when looking at its surroundings.“.

Although other officials, such as Conisit’s own president, veterinarian Daniele Salamoni, call on researchers to “sleep in peace,” the reality is that the scientific and technological landscape is getting bleaker with time. In fact, recently, the Raicyt collective (the Argentine network of authorities of science and technology institutes) responded categorically: “Science is in the worst state of the democratic cycle“.

Annual inflation has led to the liquidation of the amounts transferred to centers and institutes, and in reality many do not know how long they will be able to survive because they cannot afford current expenses such as electricity, water, and security. Likewise, 140 administrative staff contracts at Connisett have been terminated, and another 1,200 may suffer the same fate on June 30; Doctoral scholarships were reduced from 1,300 to 600, an essential aspect of human resources training; While the salaries of professional researchers lost between 25 and 30 percent of their purchasing power.

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to her role, Anna FrankeThe former president of Conicet comments on her view on the official’s resignation. “We are concerned not because of his person, but because of the various rumors that exist about the possible separation of science and technology on the one hand and innovation on the other. If this is confirmed, the region will once again be in a very complex situation. He then continues: “The only policy they have towards the sector is destruction, and we believe that the departure of this minister will not mean a change either, i.e. support“.

There is silver, but it is not used

Cosentino leaves office with a portfolio whose budget has practically not been implemented. according to Open data –The official website for government statistical information– Of the initial budget of P79.431 million, only 1.77 percent was implemented. The truth is that money exists, but there is no interest in spending it on improving the conditions for knowledge production. on, Roberto Salvarezza, former Minister of CyTpointing to: “He was an official who had no experience in the field under his charge and one of his greatest virtues was to strangle the science and technology system of our country. He did so through gross deficiencies in budget implementation. As of June, it had implemented less than 2% of what it was assigned. Another shame This is in addition to many of the things that Miley’s government has accustomed us to.

According to the Final analysis The one who rises Ibero-American Center for Research in Science, Technology and Innovation, in the first five months of the year, the implementation of the CyT function decreased in real terms by 24.2 percent compared to the first five months of 2023. “This decline is even higher than the real decline in implementation from the national public administration budget, which decreased by 22.8 in cent in real terms and confirms the pro-cyclical nature of investment in science and technology. If the previous jurisdiction 71 (MINCyT) is taken into account, the decline would be 29.8 percent in real terms.

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Cosentino has extensive experience in the private sector. He graduated in Business Administration and Public Accountant from the Argentine Catholic University, and entered the academic portfolio of the world of banking, finance and technology. Among other entities, Cosentino has worked at Excel Group, at Santander Rio and at American Express. In his social networks, he also highlighted that he is the founder of Afluenta, an online credit and investment company of which he was president between 2010 and 2022. Miley’s goal in placing him in this position was to leave a mark directed towards entrepreneurship and world oil. Communication with the private sector. However, during the 180 days he ran space, there was no change in science policy.

Example of a construct…of finance

A clear example of the situation the region is going through these days is at the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences at UBA. Recently, the university authorities sent a documentary letter to the Chief of Staff demanding clarifications about the Zero+Infinite situation. This is what is known as the symbolic building of Argentine science, which is in danger of closing its doors due to the expiration of security, maintenance and cleaning contracts. It includes cutting-edge programs such as computer science and data science, of great stature and international importance due to their connection to the oft-mentioned artificial intelligence.

As indicated in Official website From UBA: “The national state not only financed the construction of the building through an international loan, but also committed, through an agreement signed with the University of Buenos Aires, to cover maintenance, cleaning and security services for a period of ten years starting in 2021. It is the interim year received by the UBAHowever, this commitment has not been fulfilled at the present time. And so the story continues: “In December 2023 something changed. Immediately after the new national authorities took office, payments to contracting companies for all committed services began to suffer from delays. At the same moment, the college authorities filed complaints with the Secretariat of Innovation, Science and Technology, and publicly denounced the situation. The dean was able to speak repeatedly with the district secretary, Alejandro Cosentino, without being able to unblock payments and without obtaining information on how to continue the relationship with suppliers.“.

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Although the document letter was sent on June 1, the college has not received a response from the portfolio. Another example of how little they care about leading universities and science.

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