Candidates, without a transexennial project for science

We are already in the final gap Election campaign To elect the next president of the country. for him Scientific sector This is a crucial election, after a difficult and complex election Disappointing for six years. About a week before voting day, four researchers evaluated the campaign's proposals on science and the environment Jorge Alvarez MainzCitizens Movement candidate; Xochitl Galvezcandidate of the Alliance of Power and Heart for Mexico, and Claudia SheinbaumA candidate to continue making history. Although we talk about the future, scientists must talk about… Present.

“In these six years, scientific management has completely collapsed in our country,” he says. Teresa Garcia Gascaindustrial biochemical engineer and former president of the Autonomous University of Queretaro.

“We have seen a polarization We have faced complex situations, such as new credit extinction General law of science and technology “Which gives very great powers to the state and, above all, centralization,” is how David Romero, researcher at the Center for Genome Sciences-UNAM, sums up the current science policy panorama.

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Antonio Lazcano, a biologist and member of the National College, believes that this is an essential step for the next government. cancellation New General Law on Humanities, Science and Technology (LGHCT). “He's one of The worst inheritance Who will leave the current administration? It was approved amid irregularities. “This law represents a huge obstacle to the development of science in Mexico,” he says.

But what do you think about the promises of the presidential candidates? Based on the proposals announced by the candidates on their official websites, the interviewees agreed on two points: invisible Transexennial project and it was He was ignored For new generations of researchers.

The interviewees point this out Science takes its own rhythm It is necessary to separate it from the government's agenda and propose medium and long-term projects. the Removal Of trust funds by presidential decree made scientific projects dependent on funds from the annual budget.

“To develop a successful science policy, what we have to look for is how to separate the science times from the political times, in the sense that everything is proposed over a period of six years, and there are projects that have different timings,” explains Lazcano.

One example raised by Romero of the negative consequences of measuring science in six-year periods is the failed project of… Conahsett To find an alternative to glyphosate: “To believe that an alternative will be found within two years only leads to cynicism. I am sure that work was being done in this direction, what is unreal is the promise, the incomprehensible that comes from a world (Maria Elena Alvarez-Buelachief of Conahcyt).

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On the other hand, Antonio Lazcano confirms that investing in… Scholarships Without ensuring that new generations of researchers are able to join the workforce, this is a “bad investment.” “The scientific community in Mexico is getting old because there wasn't anything Generational renewal Due to lack of resources,” he comments.

“There is a lot of talk about scholarships to train students, and very little or almost nothing about integrating scholarships New researchers. “This is a central point,” says Romero. “As long as we continue with relatively young science, we will not advance very far.”

For Cristina Poga, a researcher at UNAM's Peninsula Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, the big missing proposition is Decentralization Science: “In all these countries there is a need for regional integration of the country, to recognize the importance of local initiatives of each state in promoting science and knowledge.”

But he celebrates that there is “a greater recognition of the needs of the people than there is in the current government.” Technology training And the ability to innovate in the country.” In addition, the candidates emphasize strengthening education and technological development, although he warns regarding the latter that this will require a prior scientific push and that it is not considered. He adds: “I see that there is no idea of ​​an integrated scientific system.”

It's not worth stopping with him. “There is not the slightest detail to the interesting points, they seem to me like clichés,” says Antonio Lazcano frankly, before beginning his analysis. The biologist considers his weak proposals in the field of science to be “part of his campaign improvisation.”

In the Mainz project, the word “science” was mentioned only once, in relation to improving the health service. His other proposal is to reintegrate private universities into society National System of Researchers (SNI)who were subjected to discrimination during this six-year period.

García Gasca agrees with Antonio Lazcano, because he points out that the Citizens Movement candidate “does not offer a real vision for the country’s science policy.”

As for David Romero, the party has a good record because in 2021 it presented a proposal for a public science law that bases the budget on the Union's expenditure budget and not on GDP. Regarding the proposals, the transition of energy to more sustainable sources stands out, which is a common point among all the candidates.

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García Gasca begins by highlighting that in both Claudia Sheinbaum's campaign proposal and in Xochitl Gálvez's proposal, the advice of members of the scientific community is clear and concrete, despite their differences.

Regarding the “We will continue to make history” candidate campaign, García Gasca highlights her idea of ​​promoting science and technology, although she points out that there is still a need to He explains How can I achieve this? But what he sees with better eyes are his own proposals environment“It is the only one that addresses the issue of open-pit mining, which Mexico has very important commitments in this area, and in particular mercury mining is a big problem in the state of Querétaro and Mexico has committed to eliminating it in 2032, so it is an important issue.”

David Romero is aware of the “secret” concern expressed by Sheinbaum about the current management of science. But he says his proposals do not reveal a departure from current science policy: “He's not talking about… New science law“Which is currently subject to various unconstitutional measures and protections, which would occur if she were elected during her government.”

The focus on education to talk about science impressed interviewees, although Romero points out that there was no mention of a program to develop basic sciences and train young people in research.

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I see a more complete programDavid Romero says. “It is much more determined. I see a more solid proposal,” adds Teresa García Gasca.

The first point that researchers Romero and Garcia Gasca agree on is the proposal to support women in this field It stems (i.e., they work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), as it is a Outstanding debts. Although Romero would have liked to see how this goal would be achieved.

Another well-known point is the one that says so He will recover Protected natural areas in “Hands of organized crime”. However, García Gasca says that the proposal is not enough, because it also needs More spaces Get a declaration of protection. Within this environmental line, Lazcano and Romero highlight that Gálvez is the only candidate who has spoken out against limiting global warming. National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Cunabio) To the address of the Ministry of Environment.

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The researchers also estimate that it took into account international commitments, such as reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the 2019 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. “It is indispensable and someone will have to be elected president. “Of course, if she succeeds, she won't be president until 2050, but she'll have to drop everything for that to happen,” Garcia says.

Although this was on everyone's lips, the National Council for Humanities and Technology (Conahcyt) was only mentioned in Galvez's proposals. He mentions this to suggest strengthening the Council and the SNI, an idea celebrated by interviewees.


So far, David Romero says, he has not seen any candidate running for the position Perfect suggestion. But he makes clear that the future of science policy does not depend solely on government:

“Any of the three elected candidates will need to Support and critical discussion By the scientific community. All proposals can be improved, and I believe that the entire scientific community must play a more urgent role in terms of supporting and expanding our activity, which is Important for Mexico. The failure of scientists to participate effectively has also led us to a rather disastrous situation.

The researchers hope that this will be achieved over the next six years Consider the academic sector The government listens to him to suggest solutions to the country's problems.

“There is no talk of a system that coordinates the views of different actors (universities, think tanks, researchers, government, companies), but rather it is always seen as a policy directed by the government. Six years ago, we already had a structure, which was in its infancy and what The Consultative, Scientific and Technological Forum – which had 31 members, including scientists and officials – still suffers from many shortcomings. I chased Without success by the government – ​​there Collected In all disciplines, including the humanities and social sciences, there were entrepreneurs, there was government and there was debate. Pooja recalls that he was there and it got cancelled.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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