The freedom to express ideas and opinions guarantees public understanding of science and helps scientists realise society's needs, argues Jaime Requena in this Interciencia editorial.
Requena refers to Claudio Mendoza, former head of a computational-physics laboratory in the Caracas-based Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research, who recently published an article criticizing Venezuela's nuclear energy policy.
Mendoza was dismissed from his post and has faced calls from the government to be tried for treason (see Venezuela Researcher demoted for nuclear wisecrack).
Requena argues that everyone should have the right to speak and express opinions freely. Given the response to Mendoza's article, freedom of speech could seem to be "under coercion" in Venezuela, he says.
The ongoing challenge, he adds, is to foster mutual respect and believe that spreading knowledge and awareness is in the common good.
Link to full article in Interciencia [36.7KB]