“Science is not expensive; Ignorance is expensive. Bernardo House, Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1947 and founder of CONICET.
There has been much discussion in recent days about the role of government and the promotion of public policies that promote scientific and technological development. As is often the case when such broad issues of high social impact are discussed, positions are polarized. But are we really clear about the role of science and technology development in a country?
Argentina invests 0.31% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in science; This budget is distributed among various state institutions such as CONICET, INTA, INA, CONAE and public universities. According to World Bank (2019) data, if we compare ourselves with other countries in the region, Brazil invests 1.21%, Chile 0.34% and Uruguay 0.48% of GDP in the science sector. Other developed countries show three times the investment compared to the aforementioned South American countries. Such is the case US invests 3.45% of GDP, Japan 3.26%, Belgium 3.48%, Germany 3.14%, Israel and South Korea 4.9%.
Having state institutions independent of the economic and productive interests of the private sector is a fundamental tool for ensuring a country’s sovereignty. An example of this is CONICET, which was established as a major public organization for permitting in Argentina It guarantees an approach to the immediate interests of society, which, in some cases, conflict with the interests of the market and major economic forces. In this system, we have 16 Science Technology Centers (CCT), 10 Research and Transfer Centers (CIT), one Multidisciplinary Research Center and more than 300 institutes and workers dedicated to science in exclusive and shared centers with national universities and other institutions across our country. . The quality of scientific information produced by this public organization meets high international standards and is evidence of this CONICET is currently ranked 17th out of 1745 public science and technology institutes worldwide. CONICET is also ranked first among government science and technology institutions in Latin America (SCImago Ranking 2022).
A society with a low level of scientific-technological development is linked to an economy that depends on other economies producing value-added goods. This situation creates lack of inclusion, social inequality and extraction of wealth from poor countries to the rich. He Scientific knowledge enhances the quality of life People position us favorably in a global environment through resource management principles and technological developments, which are subtle. This is why scientific-technological development appears to be an indispensable tool to guide appropriate administrative decisions that translate into public policies in favor of the Argentine people. It is the moral duty of all of us to conscientiously exercise our civil rights and duties and express our will towards positions that promote the building of a sovereign nation.
Staff National Institute of Limnology (INALI, CONICET-UNL).