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Will there be a Sheinbaum effect?  One researcher will decide the future of science and academia in Mexico

Will there be a Sheinbaum effect? One researcher will decide the future of science and academia in Mexico

On June 2, for the first time, a woman, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, won Mexico’s presidential election. Sheinbaum has been known for her political career within the DC left since the 1980s, as well as her personal profile and academic career.

The newly elected president is UNAM researcher In various publications he devoted himself to it Environmental issues Mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. This dimension deserves deeper thought, and an attempt to anticipate the possible development for the six-year period 2024-2030.

Military men, lawyers, and economists

In the political history of post-revolutionary Mexico, scholars of the “hard” sciences regularly joined presidential assemblies but without exercising political leadership of governments.

Distinguishable Two stages. The first, which begins with the presidency of Álvaro Obregon and ends with the presidency of Avila Camacho. During this period, military figures prevail at the head of the government. The second, from Miguel Aleman to López Obrador, saw the assertion of civilian leadership.

In this second stage, a large majority of presidents with training in law emerge, and starting from the 1980s, the number of presidents with studies in economics has increased.

For an entire century, there has been only one precedent for a president who conducted studies in what we today call the “hard” sciences, which for a time he called, with a little arrogance, the “hard” sciences. This is Pascual Ortiz Rubio, who is trained in engineering. But Ortiz Rubio began from a young age to devote himself to political activity, and although he was able to complete his studies, he preferred to work entirely in this field.

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Angela Merkel wallpaper

The presence of a scientist at the head of the country’s government is something new for Mexico, but not for the entire world. It was the most important number in this sense Angela Merkelthe ultimate protagonist of German and European political life for almost two decades at the beginning of the 21st century.

Merkel, a doctor of quantum chemistry, worked for several years as a scientific collaborator at the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in the former East Germany. He did not enter politics until after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The comparison between the two paths does not seem like a fait accompli. On numerous occasions throughout the recently concluded presidential election, Sheinbaum It appears to be inspired by the former German Chancellor’s communicative styleAvoid excesses to highlight the image of seriousness and professionalism. Something that does not seem like mere imitation, but rather a reflection of similar training in a field where the use of reason has been shown to be more important than verbal and oratory abilities.

Many analysts worry that Sheinbaum does not enjoy self-government and that his presidency is conditional on the influence of his predecessor, López Obrador. It is a pessimistic hypothesis that only facts can verify or disprove it. If Sheinbaum is inspired by Merkel’s character, it is very likely that he has in mind how she knew the former German chancellor He broke up with his political mentor, Helmut Kohl. When the latter was the subject of judicial investigations against the backdrop of corruption cases.

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This trait in the personality of the elected president may be the key to breaking with the past, after an electoral process in which the trend towards continuity prevailed, with Morena repeating her victory. The ruling coalition emerged strong and enjoys a qualified majority in the House of Representatives and a slim majority in the Senate.

Tension between the government and academic institutions

AMLO’s six-year tenure has been a complex period for universities and for academic research in general. Constant threats from Radical interventions in the main organization for the promotion of science, Conacyt, Which led to the modification of its name, which became known as Conahcyt (National Council for the Humanities, Science and Technology). This transformation affected the form more than the substance.

Another chapter of this dispute concerns the action taken by the government against the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE), a public research institute.

Without forgetting the recurring disputes between the Council of Ministers and various university institutions, including the two main public universities in the country, UNAM and UDG. The budget cuts allocated by the Union to higher education institutions show the tense relationship.

An underlying conflict exists between a government hostile to any form of control by other institutions and the academic world, which in turn suffers from tensions from within, with the faculty divided between defenders and detractors of the fourth transformation promoted by López Obrador and Sheinbaum.

While no one possesses the Crystal Sphere and the ability to predict future events, it seems unlikely that Sheinbaum would repeat the encounter between the monsters. “Common sense” Among the good people, the wise, and the university elite, which is described as a golden bureaucracy, distinguished and completely disconnected from the reality of the country.

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Sheinbaum will almost certainly repeat (having already been successful in the election campaign) Obrador’s arguments against traditional parties and perhaps some other independent authorities, such as the National Electoral Institute, local public bodies, and the Supreme Court. But one can imagine a less tense and more cooperative relationship between her and the academic world. There may be controversial positions from time to time, but everything seems to indicate that although these positions have been a constant in AMLO’s six-year term, they will henceforth be the exception.

An opportunity for the country

In this sense, the response of the academic community itself to the renewed scenario will also be important. A society called to rethink itself and the nation.

In the past 40 years, the dominance of the business world has meant that the priorities of business people are the priorities of an entire country. A point of view that can now be put forward for discussion.

Science and research have a great opportunity to grow and help the country grow. This is a scenario that calls on the head of research and academics at universities and research centers not to neglect it.