They demand to stop Conacyt's science law initiative

They demand to stop Conacyt’s science law initiative

Scholars made an “emphatic impulse” to stop the attempt of a general law of science developed by him. conacyt“Because it is undemocratic and privileged.”

“Imposing a hierarchical and bureaucratic structure that restricts the academic freedom of researchers and puts the views of scientists, college bodies, universities and academic associations in the background; does not respect the federal agreement and removes the Mexican State’s commitment to a stable budget for research; all this means a setback in progress made over the past 50 years”.

according to a open letter, the initiative “greatly affects various communities and the country as a whole.” The letter then lists 7 specific points: 1) The elimination of all the autonomy of the Public Research Centers (Conacyt Centres), the vulnerability of their academic staff “and their freedom of research”. A reflection of this is what is happening paradigmatically at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) and what is already happening at other CPIs such as INAOE and Inecol.


Two: Impacts on basic and lead science researchers who will be constrained by a government agenda defined by the Conacyt Board to access funding for their projects.

Three: Researchers working at private universities who are discriminated against by “denying their right to be treated similarly to any academic devoted to research.” A paradigmatic example of the above is the recent changes (five times over a six-year period) to the regulations of the National System of Researchers (SNI) that have removed the economic perception for researchers from private universities.


Four: It will affect students and young researchers whose scientific careers will be disrupted by a proposal that reduces the funding and scholarship budget; which limits their academic freedom to choose their research topics, limits their national and international mobility areas, and transforms and deforms the chair program, making it more difficult for them to enter the labor market.

Fifth: It will affect all communities in the science, technology and innovation sector who will see their freedom to seek, produce and impart information limited and will not have spaces to “exercise their democratic rights to express their opinions, viewpoints, evidence and evidence”. innovative proposals”.

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Six: It will affect innovative companies that are marginalized from Government support for their projects, which “puts them at a disadvantage compared to their international competitors who are funded from their home countries.”

Finally, he adds, “It will affect Mexican society as a whole, which will not be able to rely on the latest scientific, technological and innovation development model, in accordance with the environmental, economic and social challenges that the country needs.” address in the medium and long term.

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RedProCienciaMX highlights other aspects of concern, such as the intention to replace existing intellectual property regulations for findings, developments and innovations made by publicly funded researchers.


On the other hand, Conacyt released a statement in response to criticism of its proposal from legislators and scientific groups such as ProCienciaMx and Morelos Academy of Sciences. Under careful analysis of the initiative, which was endorsed by the President, it was argued to be “back to the past” and “discriminatory and discriminatory”, respectively.

In “other data”, Conacyt states that the initiative does not limit or limit scientific work, as referred to in points one and two of the previous list:

“It is important to clarify that this initiative does not determine what is and cannot be science, or what the Mexican scientific community can and cannot do; it also does not restrict the freedom of research of those who want to operate in the field financed by their own resources. What this initiative constitutes is (…) the framework that promotes science as tools for the holistic development of the nation and the well-being of the Mexican people”.

In the case of CPIs, he adds, phrase 342 adds that this does not make them institutions at the service of the government, but instead “aligns their regulatory frameworks as state centers funded by resources from all Mexican internal tasks, which does not require the generation of a single thought.” ”, Conacyt says. However, over the six-year period Conacyt has imposed on CPIs executives, many of whom do not have the required profile or approval of their community. Once again, cases of CIDE, Inecol, CICY or INAOE, with what has been said about “unique thinking in internal tasks” conflicting.

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Isaac Torres Cruz

Inecol is one of 27 Public Research Centers or Conacyt Centers.

However, amid criticism that Conacyt had received for demonstrating the involvement of the scientific community in the development of the initiative, the agency insisted it was a simulation—as it had appeared before lawmakers and senators months ago. – carrying out a “wide and continuous consultation”, where he “does not exclude anyone”.

However, academics reported that their views were not reflected in the initiative despite consultation with the community.

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Elena Álvarez-Buylla appeared in the Senate last October.

Another issue that has been widely criticized in the initiative is that the intention to allocate a certain budget to the sector, which has been stuck since the end of the six-year period, has failed. The current initiative rescinds its claim to finance 1% of national GDP – never even reached half.

before you impose The extinction of pronaces and trusts as the sole financing mechanism With no mechanism in place to fix it, this country’s scientists will have to look for new ways to finance their projects.

“It should be noted that this initiative forbids the establishment of trusts and similar figures through arbitrary multi-funds that are not transparent between the functioning of the sector and the financing of projects until 2020; It is the same thing that simulates the promotion of scientific research, technological development and innovation, allowing millionaire transfers to large national and transnational companies, civic associations and private universities that do not require support from the state and do not produce the expected results”. These resources are now in government megaprojects like the Maya Train.

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In his speech, he talked about the conditions in which he founded Conacyt and stated that the institution has a special interest activities.

The letter from academics to legislators and the general population ends by demanding that the Legislature “stop this initiative and open up spaces for real participation in which other initiatives submitted to the legislature are included in the discussion” (…) community scholar has a lot to say to achieve this. Let’s have a dialogue.”

On the other hand, Conacyt invites all interested parties to learn about its initiative.


Science Law initiative debate

Isaac Torres Cruz

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Isaac Torres Cruz

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