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Statement by 68 Nobel laureates warns: 'Miley puts Argentine flag on brink'

Statement by 68 Nobel laureates warns: 'Miley puts Argentine flag on brink'

Students, teachers and scientists mobilize against Miley's denounced cuts to education, science and technology. (convenient unit)

For the first time in history, figures from all over the planet rallied in defense of science and technology in any country and warned against “destroying a system that will be very difficult to repair.”

In a letter to President Javier Miley, 68 Nobel Prize-winning scientists in medicine, physics, chemistry and economics from around the world came together last week to express their “deep concern” about the disastrous approach taken by the extreme neoliberal government. Argentina's science and technology leadership is “approaching a dangerous abyss.”

The famous scientists say that they are not only “frustrated by the consequences that this situation could have for both the Argentine people and the world,” they also openly condemn “the abolition of the Ministry of Science and Technology” and the expulsion of the employees of the Ministry of Science and Technology. Scientific and Technical Institutes of the National Research Council (Conicet) and other institutes across the country, in addition to the early termination of several contracts next month.

The figures say that freezing research programs and reducing the number of doctoral students and young scientists, among other measures to dismantle the public structure, “will destroy a system that took many years to build and will require a lot of time.” More to be rebuilt.” They reiterate that “without Argentine science and scientists, we would not have the knowledge and technology that allows a country to feed its people and a large part of the world.”

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The frank and detailed document, also addressed to the President of the Civil Chamber of Deputies, Nicolas Bossi, the President of CONECIT, Daniel Salamon, and the representatives and senators, notes that “without Argentine science and scientists, the causes and treatment of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases would have remained a mystery.” For decades.

The renowned scientists listed Argentina's valuable contributions to the planet, such as innovations in health, agricultural production and environmental conservation, expressing grave concern about the budget cuts that Miley has promoted since taking office. “The significant decline in the budgets of Conicet and the national universities reflects not only a significant decline in the value of Argentine science, but also a significant decline in the value of the people and the future of Argentina,” they disavow.

“If it were not for Argentine geologists and paleontologists, the world would not have known how the Andes were formed,” said the letter, which highlighted discoveries of “animals that inhabited the continent millions of years ago,” explaining its wealth of minerals. And oil. “It is the only country in the region that has developed its own vaccine against Covid-19, built and launched communications satellites, and designed and built next-generation nuclear reactors” which were not only exported, but also provided alternatives for medical use. Progress that was the result of “government support for basic research.”

Health, biotechnology, nuclear technology and space

According to Daniel Vilmos, also former Minister of Science, Technology and Education, “It is the first time in history that such a large number of Nobel Prize-winning scientists in various disciplines have come out in defense of science.” “They not only talk about the development of science in Argentina, they also highlight Argentina's contribution to global science. They raise specific issues in the field of health and biotechnology, nuclear or space technology, and they evaluate some recent measures such as the vaccine against Covid or the installation of Qubic – The radio telescope, the most powerful in the world, is located in Salta -, between Conicet and the Ministry of Science and Technology and the European Union, especially France. He highlighted that these developments are notable.

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At a time when the government should invest in science and technology to promote development, Vilmos believes that it is not objectionable to have to “raise the alarm about funding cuts and the adjustments that have been made,” as well as the need to raise its voice against the attacks that continue. promotion . The former minister also pointed out that Conset's budget represents less than 1% of the national budget: “It's 0.10%.” This is a modest share, as our “scientists” make valuable contributions to the local and global community.

Molecular biologist Alberto Kornblit noted that the letter of aid was a strong manifestation, and that it was “not a request for support from the Argentine scientific community,” but from the international community, which recognizes “the importance of a country having its own development.” Science and Technology”.

The initiative's promoters include three medical laureates: Richard Roberts, Andrew Fair, and Robert Horvitz. But they are a string of “famous Nobel Prize winners in every discipline,” said Kornblit, who discovered gravitational waves, “and experts in DNA, RNA, in the ways cells divide and get energy, in the way antibodies are produced or how they are made.” Spread.”

“As citizens of the world, we benefit from this legacy” and “without science infrastructure, a country is helpless and vulnerable.” For this reason, when the Declaration is signed, there is “the possibility that Argentina will have a significant scientific base on which to build, if there is a desire.” For these reasons, they call on the government to “restore budgets subject to the restrictions recently imposed on the scientific and technological sector.”

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When students at a private school asked her about the reason for this behavior in relation to public education, Miley replied that it was “a brainwashing tool.”