Argentina's scientists want more expatriate support
Sixty per cent of those questioned called for the consolidation of networks linking scientists abroad and at home, and 58 per cent urged the government to invite scientists living abroad to return to give lectures to graduate students.
The survey, which was carried out in mid-2001, also revealed considerable dissatisfaction with the state of science in Argentina. Almost 85 per cent of respondents said that young scientists should be paid more and should be offered better working conditions. And more than two-thirds called for the number of research fellowships to be increased.
The Internet-based survey was carried out by the Argentinean Department for Science, Technology and Innovation (SECyT). It was the first such public consultation in science to be carried out by the Argentinean government, and was intended as a way of tapping public opinion in preparation for a new science policy in 2002. However, the results of the survey were not released until last December, and a new plan has not yet been implemented.
The situation of scientists has worsened considerably since the survey was carried out. In 2002, the economic crisis in Argentina meant that bank accounts were frozen and grants for many researchers were delayed (see Argentine crisis spells trouble for scientists).
Other issues raised by respondents included the need for science policies to focus on addressing the country's social and productive problems. For a detailed analysis of the results (in Spanish), go to http://www.secyt.gov.ar/Encuesta/Encuesta/encuesta_indice2.htm.
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