By Walter Pengue
The abrupt change in the leadership of our National Institute of Industrial Technology, INTI, which in an honorable and highly qualified manner, has been developed by Eng. Who considered and clearly saw the medium-term issues, when everyone fights only for the situation.
A few days ago, society became aware of two changes that, not because of people, but because of what they imply, have occurred in Research Institutes that make up Science and Argentine Society.
The first is the abrupt change in the management of one of the Institutes, which, in an honorable and highly qualified manner, Eng. Enrique Martínez has developed in the management of our National Institute of Industrial Technology.
The second, the reduction of category that the OPDS has suffered, in the Province of Buenos Aires, and that at the provincial level, only reflects, as a sounding board, what happens at many levels and visions of a society that looks the other way and to say in an already mentioned book by S. Federovisky, "The environment does not matter to anyone."
The displacement, sloppy and in a totally inconsiderate manner, of Ing. Martínez from INTI, only reflects an important shift in the objectives and services provided by the Institution, towards something that seems out of date: strengthening training and providing relevant technical support to SMEs, to society as a whole and certainly also to the technological improvement of the country's resource base.
But beyond that, the true function of a Technological Institute is in “the mission”. In other words, where should these Institutes go? Whether to form, train, guide and issue a well-founded opinion on the great issues of the country and its future, or only to answer trifles and avoid risks due to the opinion committed to these issues. I had the honor of once sharing and listening directly to Eng. Martínez. His clarity, his purely national focus, his strong social commitment, his knowledge of the environment and the renewable and non-renewable resources of the Nation, made me always look at him with respect, being able to share his vision regarding current and confusing national policies. that sometimes lead us to paths that are not too clear and which he always tried to help straighten out, not precisely from obsequiousness, but from founded knowledge.
I believe that Eng. O when many see, “in the market” or in working only for this entelechy, the change of services that some of our Research Institutes must carry out.
I consider and think that this is a mistake. The "market" is not a panacea. Neither is the objective. Today, many ministers are proud, as if the achievements of the tailwinds, that is, the rising prices of the resources that we export as a country and region, had been part of their achievements. But be careful, as the situations change rapidly. And you have to look, like Martínez, beyond your nose and towards the horizon. It is not possible to sustain only the current prices of soybeans, corn, the little transformation in value added, or energy. We must also think about the future. Prevent for when the panarchic process, which every capitalist economic system faces, does not find us on the crest of the wave but below it. For this panarchy, as in the systems of nature, is the very logic of the most brutal capitalism. Some call it "constructive destruction." Let us not forget that this process, which only serves large banks, large corporate groups and very little for people and societies, is part of a circle, of which, in the context of these systems, it is only one component of the gear.
For this reason, the medium and long-term vision that people like Martínez have had, even in the context of decision-making spaces, is so relevant that they have not. His departure from a technological institute, in these sloppy terms, impossible to allow him a replacement and even a bet on the future and the construction and strengthening of new lines, is a bit sad. Not for Martínez, who will surely continue to be as active and committed to his ideas as ever. But for the country, for a country that we love and that hurts us, and where precisely gray matter seems to be less valued than soy flour….
Martínez recently in a radio interview, which I invite you to listen to, clearly explained the details, placing special emphasis on the process that worries him and may be truncated: http://www.kalewchefm.org/…
It is also important and useful to consider the opinion of Ing. Martínez regarding biased opinions regarding the functions of the institute: http://www.facebook.com/…
It is more than clear that our Scientific and Technological Training Institutes, together with our National Universities, must first of all collaborate in the strengthening and construction of a national and regional model oriented towards the production of “useful knowledge” and socially and nationally appropriable. and avoid, as has happened in some instances, working creating only "scientists and technicians at the plate" who work on demand. Even in a really transcendent change in how to do science and technology and in how to link abroad, stopping looking at the panacea of the North (North American and European especially) and building integration in South-South scenarios and relations and with emerging societies. Today, which will be (and will we be?), the instances of the new axes of power of tomorrow.
Science and technology, thinking about the market, is too great a risk. We must avoid becoming a country that trains its scientists and technicians, thinking about how to "insert" into this secondary job offering market, to become and convert a true national and regional productive matrix that discusses as equals, with the great global players. Otherwise, the risk is the provision of labor and brains, somewhat more expensive, but without objectives linked in the first place to national development it is too great and extremely dangerous.
Walter pengue - Buenos Aires, Argentina. - December 19, 2011.