Creation of the Ministry of Science and Technology: Is this Peru Libre proposal practical and appropriate? | Pedro Castillo | Elections 2021 | Peru

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One of the proposals made by a candidate Peru Free (PL), Pedro Castillo, Is to create a file Ministry of Science, Technology and ResearchIt will be allocated – according to what it said on April 6 – 10% of GDP.

Last Sunday, PL founder and general secretary, Vladimir Seron, Who spoke with nuclear physicist Modesto Montoya about the proposal to establish a Ministry of Science and Technology. “We are pleased to have your contest. Welcome!“, He said.

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Montoya is a Peruvian scholar with an outstanding career. He is a senior professor at the National University of Engineering and his research relates to cold nuclear fission and the Lima aquifer. He is the President of the Nuclear Academy of Peru and the former President of the Peru Institute of Nuclear Energy (IPEN).

After Serón’s letter, Dr. Montoya Zavaleta, who had been advocating for the creation of the aforementioned ministry for years, made it clear that he was not offered a position or invited to participate in Peru Libre.

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It’s not that we line up with Pedro Castillo. It is the opposite. It was Pedro Castillo who embraced our decades-old proposalHe added that he had an outstanding conversation with the candidate.

How convenient and comfortable is an entity of this type? El Comercio interviewed three Peruvian scientific and technological research professionals.

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1. Gisela Orjeda, former president of CONCYTEC: “The ministry will give the chaplain, but the problem is political instability.”

Gisela Orjeda, a Peruvian scientist who obtained a PhD in genetics from the University of Birmingham (UK) and chaired the National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC), believes that this proposal should be evaluated to see if its shortcomings can be overcome.

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It is true – as he says – that the existence of this ministry will place scientific research in a position that enables it to influence ministries and other scientific institutions. I will give him the leadership in this sector.

Gisella Orjeda has lived in France for 10 years, working at GENOSCOPE where she built the physical map of the rice chromosome XII and actively contributed to its sequencing.  (Photo: Manuel Orjeda / GEC)
Gisella Orjeda has lived in France for 10 years, working at GENOSCOPE where she built the physical map of the rice chromosome XII and actively contributed to its sequencing. (Photo: Manuel Orjeda / GEC)

There are legal restrictions, precisely because it is not a service. Concytec contacted the Minister of Energy and Minerals, asking him to promote a research program in the field of energy and materials. The minister listens to him for five minutes, hangs up, and is no longer interested, because he is not his peer. The minister’s voice is different“, He says.

However, the big drawback to this ministry for Orgida is political instability. “Science requires stability, clear rules, respect for national priorities, policies and plans, and a lack of a clean record. Imagine if we changed a minister every six monthsHis opinion.

Whether it is a ministry or an independent entity with greater leadership of the country’s science and technology system, the urgent thing – in his opinion – is to invest in 13 public research institutes in Peru. “They were abandoned by the state“, Dice.

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2. Fabiola Leon-Villardi, former president of Concytec: “The priority is to increase the funds allocated to science and then to take a step towards creating a ministry without haste.”

Fabiola Leon-Villardi, a biologist, doctor of science (physiology) and former president of the National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC), has a divided opinion on the creation of this ministry.

It is true, he says, that membership in Peru’s cabinet allows for a larger budget to be managed. However, with fewer resources, these expenditures will go to the bureaucratic expenditures of the ministry and not to support the advancement of science and technology.

We are lagging behind in the region in terms of the number of researchers and scientific research resourcesAnother point against it is that ministers are very fickle and for advances in science and technology we need continuity. ”We have pros and cons“, He said.

Fabiola Leon Villardi, the former president of Concytec, was between 1995 and 2002 an associate researcher at the University of Paris XIII.  (Cesar Campos / GEC)
Fabiola Leon Villardi, the former president of Concytec, was between 1995 and 2002 an associate researcher at the University of Paris XIII. (Cesar Campos / GEC)

CONCYTEC has been working for two years with the Congressional Science and Technology Committee (which was chaired by President Francisco Sagasti when he was a member of Congress) on a project that would give greater leadership to this entity and better reflect the entire Peruvian system. “This does not mean that nothing has been done. Progress is being made on a new paradigm that has four levels: policy, plans, implementation, coordination and implementers.“.

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Although the ministry can speed up this process, Leon wonders whether this entity will ensure the resources required to obtainTruth MinistrySpecifically, this was one of the observations made in 2020 in a report prepared by the World Bank’s International Adviser, Juan D. Rogers, on public spending on science, technology and innovation in Peru.

In his opinion, the state should strengthen the work of CONCYTEC, go ahead with the establishment of a high-level science school to train doctors of science, increase the funds allocated to science and technology, and then, without haste, take the step towards the ministry. “Why do we get ahead of ourselves if we are on this path?“Asked.

What is needed is to give CONCYTEC the command over the system. “For example, the law is one of the largest sources of resources that public universities have for research, but intervention to regulate its use is minimal, because although CONCYTEC has given guidelines about its use, there is an article in the budget law that prohibits the use of canonical funds to fund researchers.He explains.

He expressed his regret that the issue of science and technology is being discussed in the political arena without seriousness. “What we need is for them to tell us how to increase the resources and better invest the little that we have in science and technology. “

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3. Jorge Alpha, former president of the National University of Engineering: “The ministry will fill us with bureaucrats. The most appropriate thing is to give CONCYTEC a ministerial rank.”

For Jorge Alpha Hurtado, former president of the National University of Engineering and researcher, it is important to emphasize science and technology, but to create a ministry in these epidemiological conditions and extreme politicization.It wouldn’t be appropriate“.

Jorge Alpha Hurtado, former President of UNI, studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the USA.  He earned three academic degrees: Master of Science, Mentioned in Material Testing, Civil Engineering and Geotechnical Mention.
Jorge Alpha Hurtado, former President of UNI, studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the USA. He earned three academic degrees: Master of Science, Mentioned in Material Testing, Civil Engineering and Geotechnical Mention.

We will be filled with bureaucrats and no steps will be taken. I know this because I was the president of UNI. We have bureaucracy not thinking, there to warm the seat. It is a great fact“, be seen.

Most appropriate, in his opinion, would be to give CONCYTEC a higher hierarchy with a ministerial rank, but not to create a ministry. “There you have to place a place, employees, drivers and trucks; It seems to me unnecessary“, Dice.

One of the issues that should be strengthened in the system is to encourage more coordination between institutes with research units in the universities themselves. “We are completely unconnected. “.

He also regrets that the presidential candidates are not trying. “seriouslyNeither this nor other topics.

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Aileen Morales

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

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