Thousands of scientists in Argentina strike to protest budget cuts

Source: Science Magazine

Scientists from labs across Argentina stayed home today, joining a nationwide strike against the government’s latest round of austerity measures. One of their key rallying points: a call to restore lost opportunities for young researchers who began their education during a time of high investment in science but now have little hope of continuing their careers in Argentina.

Schools, public transportation systems, and university offices shut down as their employees joined the strike, making it difficult to say exactly how many researchers were absent as part of the national movement. But research institute heads estimated thousands were on strike.

Since coming to power in 2015, President Mauricio Macri’s administration has cut short efforts by his predecessors to grow the scientific community. In the latest blow, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), headquartered in Buenos Aires, announced on 5 April that it had a mere 450 new first-time investigator positions available for this year’s roughly 2600 Ph.D. graduates and former postdocs—leaving a record number of trainees without jobs. The previous government had projected that about 1400 new jobs would now be available.