I could only cringe reading today’s interview with the current Vice-Minister of Science. I love it when people who have never even done any form of science pontificate about what should be done with the country’s science.
The Vice-Minister also held important positions in Caldera’s Government but managed the transition quite well and continues holding important positions and saying the same ignorant statements such as:
“We will power up research that has a social character”
(This from the same people who fired 80% of Venezuela’s team of scientists that worked on heavy crudes for political reasons. BTW, most of them are now in Canada, Venezuela’s biggest competitor in heavy crudes)
“We have researchers that never publish in local journals”
(Could it be because they want their peers to read them and our journals are mostly crappy? Of course, he has never published anything important, how would he know?)
Then comes the inconsistency:
“We are convinced that without basic sciences there is no adequate scientific development”
Hold it! If you need basic sciences and then you have to relate them to the problems of the country, doesn’t that leave some basic sciences out, say Math and Physics? But he gets deeper into hot water:
“…now is basic science around the fundamental problems of Venezuelans”
Sorry Mr. Marcano, with that definition, you simply show you have no clue what science is about. Fortunately, you proceed to prove it:
“Academic Freedom does not exist. It is a vision of XIXth. century, science each times it grows links itself with power”
I think he should publish this, the extinction of Academic Freedom is too important a matter for academics not to know about it. And to think I was a scientist in the US and Venezuela in the XIXth. Century and did not know it. I always had academic freedom!
I also love the fact that what he mentions first as plans for the year, is a blood processing plant that has been around for over ten years! In fact, it existed well before I abandoned science 12 years ago, was founded in 1985 and has been functioning for fifteen years!
Finally, he talks about using image processing to watch rivers and floods and how they will now acquire new cameras for this. Well, in 1984, I was a founder of the Engineering Institute where we started the first image processing center in Venezuela. Guess where these images of rivers and floods will be processed?
These guys are so ignorant, they think they have discovered the wheel! Where do they find them?