Science is vital so that Mexico does not fall into slavery to hunger and disease: Alejandro Franc


For Mexico, it is necessary to support and expand the practice of science because in a world full of uncertainty, only knowledge can prevent the country from falling into the bondage of hunger and disease, as expressed by El Colegio Nacional Mexican physicist and Premio Cronica, Alexandre Frank.

As part of a round table entitled Why do we want the flag in Mexico? Where also Chronicle Prize co-winners Susana Lizano and Luis Felipe Rodriguez Jorge, Dr. Alejandro Frank said that in today’s world, the defense of human rationality is fundamental, including a direct attack on ignorance, pseudoscience and magical knowledge. In addition to demonstrating witchcraft in general, the COVID-19 pandemic makes this even more apparent.

“Freedom through knowledge is the motto of El Colegio Nacional and I think that at this time, in Mexico and around the world, this is a very important issue,” said Alejandro Frank at the table where William Lee, Scientific Research Coordinator at UNAM and Catalina Stern, former Director of UNAM’s Faculty of Science.

The Mexican physicist explained that the biggest difference between humans and other apes is their intelligence, the evolution of intelligence has endowed evolutionary advantages. “The emergence of consciousness made us wonder for the first time about our origin, each group imagined its own deities and created its own capricious and cruel deities, a vision that has survived to this day in the sector of the majority of mankind.”

He noted that the defense of human rationality in today’s world is fundamental, including a direct attack on ignorance, pseudoscience, and magical knowledge. In addition to demonstrating witchcraft in general, the COVID-19 pandemic makes this even more apparent. He added that despite the countless successes, large sectors, including scientists, continue to demonize science. This is the case of Konsett’s current controversial policy that coincides with this disastrous vision.

“Science by giving us knowledge and power over nature makes it possible to free us from the bondage of the elements of hunger and epidemics, as COVID-19 vaccines show so vividly today. Science has allowed us to observe and understand our universe, reach the moon, demonstrate human equality, and ask ourselves what is Consciousness and what is the origin of the universe

Mexico flag in the world.

Susana Lisano Soberon, an astrophysicist who won the 2020 Chronicle Prize a week ago, participated in the discussion table and referred to science in Mexico in relation to the global field. He noted that the country’s federal spending on research and development is 0.3% of GDP, while the average in OECD member countries is 2.4%.

In terms of human capital and scientific output, the Mexican astrophysicist commented that Mexico ranks last in the OECD with only one researcher per thousand active residents, compared to an average of 8.6 researchers per thousand population of member states, which means a huge challenge.

According to the specialist, the production of scientific articles in the country is 0.66, which is only higher than Argentina, Chile and Colombia, and much lower than the United States which produces an average of 16.92. “The fields in which it is produced the most in Mexico are space sciences, fauna and flora, agriculture, ecology, and microbiology.”

In addition, Mexico ranks 48th in the Global Competitiveness Index, which measures the set of institutions, policies, and factors that influence a country’s economic prosperity. It ranks 55th out of 131 in the Innovation Index, which measures the ability or ability to create new products.

When answering the question why do we want the flag in Mexico? and the global economy. However, there are significant delays and multiple aspects of national life.”

Catalina Stern, former Director of the Faculty of Science at UNAM, emphasized that science consists not only of a body of knowledge, but also of a series of practices that expand, organize, verify and refine prior knowledge.

He explained that scientific thinking analyzes, asks questions, reviews and exchanges ideas to be re-analyzed and verified before proposing them as correct.

In academic words, to have scholars, you first have to train them. He emphasized that science should be taught to everyone, from pre-university students to students, at university, with and without a scientific career. “Science is for all, and when I speak of science, I speak of all sciences, mathematicians excuse me, but they are also included. I speak of all those who have organized thinking and have a process by which they can say their findings.”

Luis Felipe Rodriguez Jorge emphasized that modern society has many requirements. “One thing is to have a large number of high-ranking scientists, and the other is the economic and technological diffusion that encourages science to create jobs and resources. More actors are needed to implement things.”

He said it was important to understand the difference between what a scientific idea means and what is the potential commercial application. “There is a very good old saying in this regard. In technology, once the science part is done, 99% of the work is lost. We need to get a patent, we need lawyers’ advice, we need people to invest, we need engineers, capital , which is very difficult. In Mexico, we couldn’t combine these things and that’s why people later say: These scientists didn’t solve anything.”

According to the Mexican astronomer and researcher, science is necessary, because it reinforces a society that bases its actions on data and not on beliefs or ideologies, which preserves and justifies science.

William Lee, Scientific Research Coordinator at UNAM, defined science as a way of confronting the observation of the world with explanations for it, the search for predictive power and redundancy. “It is self-correcting, it is incremental, and from time to time one has to dismantle something we have been thinking and build a capitalist equation. This applies to all branches of knowledge that help us know the world around us and our world.”

In the words of the specialist, if questions are scientific in nature and economic and political power seeks unquestioning, then there is no harmonious relationship between them.

“It requires a certain level of technology, and there is no way around this to efficiently implement any political decision. Each nation has had to deal with this in its own way. It seems to me here that we must appreciate a fundamental fallacy and clash in origin, if we are to conceptualize a science The state or the flag of the state, this is a contradiction that will never be resolved, we have to live with that.”


The President of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (AMC), Susana Lizano, pointed out one of the biggest obstacles to knowledge transfer in Mexico: the difficulty of patenting. Patents are granted to Mexican researchers more abroad than at home. According to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index, which measures the level of health, education and life, Mexico ranks 76th out of a total of 189 countries, in terms of its ability to advance in development.

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