Two weeks before the runoff, the magazine natureOne of the world’s most prominent figures in the scientific field said in an editorial: Against the presidential candidate of La Libertad Avanza, Javier Miley“And he warned against that.” The solution is not to cut research and developmentNot to mention abolishing the entire science funding agency.”
From the media, they analyzed the electoral situation in Argentina and emphasized that “if elected, the following It plans to revolutionize funding for science, environment, health and education. Its goal is to reduce the expenses of the debt-laden Argentine government by 15% of GDP.“.
Along these lines, they focused on the projects of the liberal candidate at the scientific level and above all on the initiative that seeks to eliminate CONICET: “Miley’s plan will be to close the main scientific research center in ArgentinaNational Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), which receives funding for 12,000 researchers in 300 institutions at an annual cost of $400 million“.
After reviewing Miley’s major plot proposals, Nature noted: “Many in Argentina’s scientific community are concerned. Victor Ramos, president of the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences in Buenos Aires, wrote in the journal Nature that “I have never heard a politician propose such radical ideas“In his country during the nearly 60 years since his graduation from the University of Buenos Aires in 1965.”
However, they admitted that “Argentina’s leaders have failed the people” and explained that “about 40% of the population is poor, largely due to inflation exceeding 100%. The country is the largest indebtedness to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and owes about 46% of the population.” Billion US dollars.
Despite the current crisis and the problems of the current government, they analyzed Milley’s economic proposal and considered that “The solution is not to cut research and development (Research and Development), not to mention abolishing the entire science funding agency. The opposite should happen, based on ample evidence of investment in R&D – including basic science– drives economic growth (see, for example, AJ Salter and B.R. Martin Res. Policy 30, 509-532; 2001).”
Finally, they pointed out that “Argentina spends only 0.5% of its GDP on research and developmentThis is a low percentage even by the standards of some middle-income countries. And Brazil in particular (which spends about 1.2%). Average for high-income countries It was about 2.7% in 2020. This is what Argentina should aspire to. Change will not happen overnight, and requires stable economic management. Instead of abolishing the funding agency and key ministries, the country’s leaders should work closely with scientists and leverage their knowledge and skills. Researchers are ready to do their part. “They just need the opportunity to contribute,” concluded the Nature editorial, which encouraged increased investment by the state, not a reduction as Javier Miley suggests.