‘Myopic’ funding cuts may force Mexican scientists to leave major international organizations
Source: Science Magazine
On 9 October, Tonatiuh Matos, president of the Mexican Physical Society (SMF), received an email that he says left him speechless. In it, the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), Mexico’s main science funding agency, notified Matos it would no longer pay the society’s membership dues for the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). The funds will be redirected to the fight against COVID-19.
Many other national science organizations tell ScienceInsider they have recently received similar letters from CONACYT. The agency has canceled funding for memberships in organizations as diverse as the International Mathematical Union, the Latin American Biology Network, the Third World Academy of Sciences, the International Science Council, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
Unless they can find ways to pay for the memberships—a tall order given that some dues exceed $100,000—the move could lead to a withdrawal from the global science scene that scientists warn will isolate Mexico scientifically and deprive it of opportunities. “There will be no new ideas, there will be no new technology and therefore there will be no new developments, no innovation,” Matos says.