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Green Muse | Sciences and Humanities

The Humanities, Science, Technology, and Innovation General Act continues its legislative course, and will be approved. It would not be a change of the Constitution, in the worst Mexican legislative tradition, perhaps approved by frivolous and unimportant changes, without enjoying the results of a careful and critical reading of the text in committees. Without consulting those directly affected: humanists, scientists, engineers and innovators, improvements can emerge from them that strengthen the right to human and scientific products guaranteed by this law to all Mexicans.

There are many problems that the General Law of the Humanities, Science, Technology and Innovation raises to achieve its mission. From the association of academics CICESE, APACICESE, to which I belong, we have already expressed our disagreement with the high probability that all employees of public research centers in Section B of Article 123 of the Constitution should remain as trusted employees. This leaves us with no security in business continuity. Without these minimum guarantees of business continuity, it is impossible to conduct long-term research and direct graduate thesis.

Despite the simplistic treatment of the spread of neoliberal science—and scientists—in Mexico, most of us who dedicate ourselves to these tasks do not do so as a business or to serve transnational corporations. We do this not only because we believe, we know that Mexico has a wealth of underutilized resources and talent. Our work efforts are directed towards the best sustainable use of resources.

This law focuses on issues of research and decision-making at the pace of the current government, which is incompetent and does not use our talents effectively. Suppose we want to solve the problem of sargassum in the Mexican Caribbean, or safety in the mines, or floods in Tijuana and Ensenada, or—as in Fox’s day—the falling fragments of Payaso’s paintings. It is not necessary to call upon all the Mexican humanists, scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the problem. There will be those who have been trained who can make proposals to solve it. The rest we can devote ourselves to what we know how to use. Otherwise, it wastes resources.

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I wonder if the Common Humanities, Science, Technology, and Innovation Act encourages dialogue, understanding, and growth in the humanities, science, and their applications if it does not guarantee at least 1% of GDP. The culture created with this knowledge and its applications for the enjoyment of Mexicans is not a vain expense or the privilege of the few. It is an investment that pays dividends in well-being and sustainable development.

We have learned that economics, planning and centralized decision-making promote corruption, economic backwardness and the welfare of those who suffer from this way of living. Lysenko’s hereditary doctrines in the Stalinist Soviet Union were the cause of agricultural failure and the consequent famine. Let’s avoid the historical pain of a similar error and let’s discuss openly and horizontally how to solve problems of inequality.

I closed the last column saying:

The relationship between the humanities and engineering is tense. No one has the whole truth or all solutions. They have different needs, interests, and budgets that they never reach. To unite them with a law is to force a relationship that does not address perceived discrimination. We need an open, public and enduring dialogue that will allow us to grow.”

Qualifying science with Manichean attributes, as it accuses it of being neoliberal, closes the dialogue between the different forms of knowledge that our cultures have constructed. Like the humanities, the arts, and engineering, the sciences are the most common and consensual knowledge we have. We must continue the independent development of these forms of knowledge, opening ourselves to dialogues when ethical problems arise or dogmas want to be imposed above hypotheses, scientific experiments, and critical, creative, and constructive minds.

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We must maintain an open dialogue and accept differences in the way we generate and understand knowledge, a dialogue that allows us to grow and develop a better understanding of the world and achieve sustainable development.

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