Researchers from 28 countries discuss equality in science from BUAP

Despite the increased participation of women in higher education in Mexico, there are still biases that are reflected in their presence in research; For example, in engineering and exact sciences they account for only 23 percent, while men account for 71 percent of the total worldwide and only 29 percent of women. This disparity is reason to reflect on the Fourth Conference of Researchers of SNI and Ibero-America, held at BUAP from November 10-12.

In a hypothetical message, University President Lilia Cedillo Ramirez noted that the University represents pride and commitment to promoting the growth of women in various fields that involve knowledge generation, based on critical thinking. That is why I welcomed the participation of researchers from different institutions as well as young students.

In this edition there will be the participation of more than 6 thousand researchers from 28 countries, who will be able to listen to 1.26 presentations and an exhibition of 400 posters. All these activities will be carried out simultaneously in different rooms and other activities will be conducted in a mixed format.

BUAP’s attorney general, Miriam Olga Pons Gómez, also participated in this opening, noting that ideas will emerge from this meeting that contribute to improving public inclusion policies. Also, Dr. Angelica Menedeta Ramirez, President, Fourth Conference of Scholars of SNI and Ibero-America; Teacher Daniela Romero Garcia, Representative of the State Council for Science and Technology (CONCEPT); and researcher Luciana Banki from Paraná Federal University.

Challenges and the role of women in science

The work of this fourth conference began with a panel in which the participation of women in generating scientific and technological knowledge was discussed. Dr. Silvia Elena Giorgoli Socedo, from Colegio de Mexico, spoke about some of the factors that explain the persistent gender imbalance in academic pathways. In this regard, she highlighted that the presence of females in the National System of Scholars (SNI) in fields related to the exact sciences and engineering represents a participation of only 23 per cent, in contrast to the natural sciences and humanities where it is more than 50 per cent. a hundred.

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Regarding the distribution in terms of levels established by the SNI – where 61 percent of the record are men – the academic indicated that at the highest level (level three), only 27 percent are researchers; While at the second level, 35 percent of the total are women.

In her speech, Dr. Beatriz Gutierrez Muller questioned why women practicing science in Mexico were less productive than their male colleagues. To this question, he answered that although the time they devote to other tasks, such as raising children, has an effect, the institutions that certify are also important: editorial committees and evaluation committees composed mostly of men, who were at the time evaluating the work of researchers , they do not take into account that the circumstances surrounding this performance are not fair.

To achieve true justice, it is necessary to compete in fair conditions. I have said more than once that children should be a part of a woman’s biography, as well as her marital status, not only as information, but as a vital circumstance that defines the task,” he emphasized.

For her part, Redalyc CEO Dr Ariana Becerel Garcia emphasized that in 2019 the third constitutional article, Section V, in which open access to knowledge was dictated, was amended, creating a legal framework unprecedented in our country. country; However, he noted that despite this reform, one cannot lose sight of the fact that the Mexican system continues to operate in the neoliberal model, which treats science as a commercial product, backed by ratings and membership in the database. The exchange currency is the citation and where the female gender is cited 30 percent less than the male gender.

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At this stage, the researcher warned of the emergence of challenges for universities to change the structures and models of business activity that generate such exclusion.

Dr. Bisril García suggested that universities should return to value science for the benefit and social significance of knowledge generated in institutions. He said the National Institute of Studies should look at open science. He noted that between 11 and 14 percent of scientific journals are edited by universities, while the rest is due to commercial publishers, who set their own standards for publication, resulting in a loss of Mexican infrastructure in scientific communication.

He questioned the public resources the state uses to pay for access to databases, whose downloads account for 33 percent of all that is done in the world, hence the need to promote and stimulate publications within universities, such as their repositories, in order to change those commercial schemes that focus only On publishing, forgetting that science aims to improve the quality of life of society.

For her part, Dr. Dora Barrancos, researcher, writer and presidential advisor in Argentina, emphasized in her speech the historical presence of women in the generation of scientific knowledge, despite not receiving the appreciation they deserve. She noted that the 19th century was complicated for women due to their access to higher education, which has been occurring to a greater degree since the second half of this century. It highlights the privilege and prestige of the science generation around the world through the space in which your results are published, conferring this status on the researcher himself, an undemocratic standard. Likewise, she spoke of the taboos generated around women’s participation in science and its relationship to their biological functions.

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To learn more about the work of this meeting, in which University President Lilia Cedillo Ramirez will participate in a keynote conference to close this meeting on Saturday, November 12, you can refer to the page php? id = 100078388418761

Aileen Morales

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

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