Without resources, Mexican researchers are left naked and helpless

Soledad Cecilia Pech Cohuo, a student of the doctorate in Sciences of Polymeric Materials from the Center for Scientific Research of Yucatán (CICY)

Merida, Yucatán.- “This is a very sad day for Mexican researchers and scientists, due to the government’s lack of interest in supporting and promoting this sector,” said Jorge Herrera Silveira, professor and head of the Department of Marine Resources at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies-Merida (Cinvestav), on the commemoration of World Science Day for Peace and Development.

The researcher said that future generations are being “condemned to scientific dependence”, since many of the research projects in Mexico do not have the necessary resources to develop, which means that they are unable to respond to many of the conditions and demands of society.

Herrera Silveira, who is a specialist in rehabilitation of mangroves, dunes, marshes and coastal areas, recalled that federal legislators did not increase resources for science and technology and that this year Conacyt has issued very few calls for the development of scientific projects.

“Mexico is recognized for its human talent and capabilities, in many occasions, foreign scientists look for Mexicans to propose alternatives and projects thanks to their skills and knowledge, but we cannot treat each other as peers, because many times the Mexican scientist has neither the inputs, nor the technology to be equal to others”, he pointed out.

“This day is a day of sadness and uncertainty because many young people who seek to become scientists will have to migrate to other countries to look for opportunities because here, the government and legislators do not provide them with any,” he said.

The budget approved for science and technology this year was less than 1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for 2022 it will not increase either, because legislators are not interested in the condition of science advancement.

“We are not talking about the salaries of scientists, we are talking about projects and proposals to solve serious and long-standing problems that affect the population, which is mired in inequality and the most difficult conditions,” he said.

“We will leave the next generations in their underwear, naked, defenseless, dependent on other technologies to solve the problems that are coming, without possibilities or capabilities to face very big problems that impact our society,” he added.

At this moment, the World Scientific Expo is being held in Dubai and Mexico took to exhibit handicrafts, folklore and a sample of social works. “In contrast, other countries presented drones, robots, modern devices and technological developments, that is a sample of the conditions of this country, because it was not a cultural fair, but a scientific and technological fair, that also speaks of the minimal interest that this country has for science,” he said.

At this moment, legislators have enacted laws that harm researchers, when in many cases, it is with international resources that Mexican scientists work. “That is why our brains go away, because here there are no resources for science and the transmission of knowledge,” he finished off.