Troubled and troublesome: scientific community requests the Government increase budget 2019 and to appoint new Minister

Troubled and troublesome: scientific community requests the Government increase budget 2019 and to appoint new Minister

Nearly three thousand signatures of researchers, academics, scientific societies and parliamentarians contain a letter of protest delivered today in La Moneda.

As soon as the proposed science budget cut was learned for next year, researchers, scientists, academics and universities began organizing toclaimfor this decline of almost 33 billion pesos.

Today, themultidisciplinary research communitywhich brings together basic, applied and social sciences, arts and humanities gathered in the Plaza de la Constitución to deliver a letter demanding that the Government not only increase the budget, but also the early appointment of a minister linked to research and with political weight to face the challenges of the Ministry.

The letter carries2,813 signatures in total, including 42 associations, 6 national Science Awards, 4 senators and 12 deputies.

The cut "has stunned an entire multidisciplinary community of researchers that brings together grass-based, applied and social sciences, arts and humanities. This reduction falters between perversion and irony, as these resources are for a newly created Ministry (Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, MinCTCI) and waiting for its complex implementation process. In this sense, it has no agreement with the challenges we have as a country and the institutionality created," the letter states.

The signatories point out that the reduction falters between "perversion and irony," but it's just the tip of the iceberg they say. Economic decline and lack of authority "account for the disinterest in generating a public policy under investigation with long-term effects in our country."

"Developing research in Chile, in all areas and throughout its geography, should be a priority. Thus, it appears that the various actors involved had understood this when the Ministry was approved. This, of course, has nothing to do with funding research because it does or to favor a sector of society, but with a country project that seeks to transform the productive model, moving us from one mainly extractivist to another where the center is locally generated knowledge", concludes the document.

Among the signatories of the letter is More Science for Chile, the Front for Knowledge, networks of Chilean researchers in different parts of the world, Science to Congress, professional colleges, scientific societies, professors and university students

The national signatory awards are María Cecilia Hidalgo (Natural Sciences, 2006), Sonia Montecinos (Humanities and Social Sciences, 2013), Agustín Squella (Humanities and Social Sciences, 2009), Manuel Antonio Garretón (Humanities and Social Sciences, 2007), Horacio Croxatto (Sciences. Apl.y Tecnológicas, 2016) and Ramón Latorre (Natural Sciences, 2002). Senators Yasna Provoste, Ximena Ordenes, Guido Girardi, Juan Ignacio Latorre and deputies Gabriel Boric, Camila Vallejos, Giorgio Jackson and Patricio Rosas, among others, joined by the congressmen.

The scientific community will closely follow the discussion on the budget that takes place today afternoon at the congress and already prepare new activities to achieve an increase in the budget.