Social sciences and science policies in Mexico

Castaños-Lomnitz, Heriberta
March 2006
Science & Public Policy (SPP);Mar2006, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p115
Academic Journal
Mexico has around 800 active social research scientists in a population of 105 million. In 2005 the achievements of the Mexican academic community have earned both international recognition and criticism. A survey of 200 senior social research scientists may suggest that public policies introduced after 2000 were not widely supported by a fragmented scientific community. Criticism was aimed at the dearth of academic positions for young scientists, and at quantitative evaluation procedures of proposals and promotions. Mexico spends 0.40% of its gross national product (GNP) on science and technology. The promised target of 1% of GNP has not been reached, and participation of the scientific community in policy-making remains modest. Open dissent among some segments of the scientific community led to the resignation of the head of Conacyt, the federal agency in charge of science policy. We interpret the results of our survey as portraying some disappointment among the active social science community in the quality of leadership provided by an administration that had promised a more significant support of science.


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