Saturday, August 26, 2017

Slashing Science

A researcher protesting on Plaza Bolivar this week displays
a sign claiming he needs a microscope to see his science budget.
Colombian Pres. Santos has not, like U.S. Pres. Trump, denied basic science - but he is acting that way.

'Did you know that the government plans to cut 40%
of the science and technology budget?
The other day, across Colombia scientists protested against the government's proposed slashing of the science budget from 380 to 220 million pesos - a drop of 41%. The cuts include reductions in Colciencia's budget and the shifting of royalty money from science to road infrastructure.

Science isn't the only area scheduled to suffer: The environmental budget is also on the chopping block. That makes no sense in a country suffering a horrific deforestation rate, and in which the guerrilla demobilization has created new environmental challenges.

The big winner? Defense - which makes no sense, since the FARC, Colombia's biggest and oldest guerrilla group, just signed a peace treaty, gave up its weapons and demobilized.

Running with full tanks: Pick-up trucks carry soldiers thru La Candelaria.
An El Tiempo graphic showing the government's 2018 budget proposal.
The environment and science lost. The military won.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Stuart Oswald said...

Defense - makes no sense? And you claim Trump is a science denier.

Miguel said...

Raising the defense budget when peace is at hand (hopefully) makes no sense. A wasn't it Trump who called global warming a Chinese conspiracy? And who seems to believe that vaccinations cause autism.