“Today we announce to the media, in this space provided by the Senate of the Republic, that the Law of Science and Technology to be passed in this Legislature, will be acted upon in Congress, that is, Senators and Representatives. It is time to produce a single legislative product by unanimity, to give Mexican society the future which it deserves,” said Senator Jorge Carlos Ramirez Marin, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.
While presenting a work plan for the science and technology committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the legislator emphasized that the mission of science and technology should be the premise of fighting inequality. “Science has two great properties: its global character, such as the conquest of space, the use of artificial intelligence, or the development of the digital world. The other is a local space and where the legislative field has a major task.”
Health, Education, Food and Equal Rights “To the extent that science and technology advance in this search for relevant goals, we will do our work.”
Through science and technology law, he said, a fundamental question would be defined, “What do we want, what are we looking for as a country? To stay in making the rules for what already exists, what have we done naturally? Or will we dare design that collective imagination that we want?”
He added that a question of this magnitude cannot be answered on its own, and the legislative process is not sufficient if the two chambers separate, “and hence the joint initiative of both chambers to present a joint proposal.”
CTI Law Background
On May 15, 2019, Section V of Article 3 of the Mexican Constitution was amended to raise the right of Mexicans to enjoy the benefits of the development of science and technological innovation to a constitutional status.
This fact has brought with it the need for a new General Law on Science, Technology and Innovation (CTI) and the maximum term to be approved by a constitutional decree, representing the last period of 2020 in the legislation, i.e. December 15, 2020. .
However, on December 8, 2020, Maria Elena Álvarez Buella, Director of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONASET), spoke for the first time at a conference on the initial draft she called the Public Law Initiative for the Humanities, the said institution coordinating science, technology and innovation.
It should be noted that in this scenario researchers expressed concern that the position and proposal of the federal government was not known days before the constitutional deadline. For this reason, for several months, various groups of researchers denounced the lack of dialogue with the highest government body of CTI and the lack of participation of the Scientific, Technological and Innovative Union in the drafting of the new governing law.
In his speech, Javier López Casarín, Chairman of the House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee, said the conference proceedings are the first of its kind in this legislature and emphasized that they are “developing a broad dialogue with federal, state and national academics as well as with students and members of the scientific community.”
In the view of the legislator for Mexico’s Green Ecologists Party, “there are regulations that have been bypassed and are generating a conflict between the authorities, the scientific community and others that impose unjustified restrictions.” He added that exponential technological change generates legal loopholes that must be addressed to mitigate risks and threats to national and personal security.
He also described the current system as ineffective, “We are compelled to abandon the inertia imposed on us by the current flawed regulatory framework, to the detriment of the talent and knowledge society and against the purposes of our own science and technology programme.”
For this reason, he said, a comprehensive review and update of the regulatory framework is necessary “under the umbrella of legislative action in the conference, a mechanism that would expedite judgment, approval of initiatives and even the opportunity to propose joint action.”
Attach the proposal to the budget
For his part, Sergio Gutierrez Luna, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Deputies, promised to increase the budget for this item, “We as the Chamber of Deputies will take the obligation to analyze the issue of the budget and try to strengthen it towards the future, and to be very clear that the development of countries must go hand in hand with development of science and technology”.
At the time, Enrique Grau, president of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), asked that polarization be set aside, because “there can be no social and economic policies without the promotion of science and technology”.
Also attending Wednesday’s chamber committee meeting was Olga Sanchez Cordero, Chairman of the Senate Board of Directors. Sergio Carlos Gutierrez Luna, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies; Enrique Grau, President of the National Autonomous University of Mexico; Arturo Reyes Sandoval, Director of the National Polytechnic Institute; Ricardo Monreal, President of the Senate Political Coordination Council. And Antares Vazquez, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
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