Bureaucratic Planning of Science


Mexico City /

about: Andreas Scheidler

Clarification: David Bion, Courtesy of Nexos

The basic premise of the law is technocratic. It assumes that all of the country’s problems can be solved through science and technology. Undoubtedly, science and technology play a leading role in solving many national and global problems, such as climate change, cancer control or industrial accident prevention. But they do not solve anything by themselves. Almost all problems involve political issues: conflicts of values ​​and interests, power struggles, competition for scarce resources, public deliberation. In other words, the solution is not in the field of science but in democracy (a word that does not appear even once in the text of the law). Contrary to what the law suggests, science should be humble and aware of its limits and uncertainties. You cannot afford illusions of ultimate ability. The law requires us to “develop advanced strategic techniques for social transformation” (Article VI.47). How lucky it is that we cannot achieve it. How lucky it is that we, the researchers and the educators, are not the ones who determine social transformation, but rather the citizens.

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