And the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Elvira Fortunato, believes that “we must benefit more than 850 million speakers of Spanish and Portuguese.” An idea that goes in the direction of the findings of the study “Portuguese and Spanish in Science: Notes for Diverse and Accessible Knowledge,” by Angel Padillo, of the Elcano Royal Institute.
Starting from the question “What is the future of Spanish and Portuguese as scientific languages?” Portuguese or Spanish – 11% of the world’s population – only 1% of the scientific production indexed worldwide is published in these two languages, the report begins by recalling that “although more than 850 million people on four continents speak Portuguese or Spanish – 11% of the world’s population.” That being said, 97% of Portuguese scientists, 88% of Mexican and Brazilian scientists, 87% of Spanish scientists, and 80% of Colombian, Argentine and Peruvian scientists publish in English.”
José Juan Ruiz, President of the Elcano Royal Institute, asserts in this sense that “these externalities of the English network derive from the status of English as a common language of knowledge that promotes progress in knowledge based on the scientific method”.
The term “capitalization” that Elvira Fortunato used, rightly, should not mean establishing borders to protect the Portuguese and Spanish languages, but adopting policies that can, as José Juan Ruiz points out, “remove the obstacles that prevent all members of society from accessing knowledge.” The President of the Elcano Institute speaks Royal on creating an “open system of access to knowledge backed by policies to promote linguistic diversity.”
At Revista Ensino, we always share the idea that education and science have no boundaries. Therefore, we consider this study an important step towards this goal. The editorial line we have adopted, with articles published in several languages, offers our readers this dimension of diversity and access to knowledge, without barriers.
This is the central theme, which allows the knowledge produced in each country to be available in their own languages, in a clear promotion of “open, culturally and linguistically diverse and easily accessible science,” as this study recommends. It is the capitalization necessary so that the knowledge produced reaches everyone.
In this process, which is open and without fundamentalism, the international scientific community must consider this issue as necessary to break down barriers of language and advance knowledge.
One of the challenges suggested by the study refers to the creation of a network of chairs “with the aim of promoting multilingualism and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity in science, in cooperation with the states and institutions of higher education most interested in promoting this center as an attribute in the future agenda of open science in Iberian America.” This is where institutions of higher education in the Portuguese and Ibero-American speaking space play an important role. For our part, we will continue to fight for education and science without borders. This is how the world moves. So, we’re going to be part of this whole process.
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