Internationally renowned Catalan scientists support pro-independence list ‘Junts Pel Sí’
Scientists of international recognition, such as oncologist Joan Massagué and assisted reproduction expert Anna Veiga, have shown their support for pro-independence unitary candidacy “Junts Pel Sí” (‘Together For Yes’). More than 10 professionals have signed a document entitled ‘A good opportunity for our science’ in which they assure that ‘Junts Pel Sí’ “is the best option to maintain the good work and the consensus achieved through many years” and will “increase the resources that science requires and provide the state structures to guarantee the consolidation and growth of the research system”. The text also describes Spain’s way of working in the scientific field as “old-fashioned”.
Barcelona (CNA).- More than 10 Catalan scientists of international prestige have signed a joint document entitled ‘A good opportunity for our science’ in which they assure that ‘Junts Pel Sí’ “is the best option to maintain the good work and the consensus achieved through many years”. Oncologist Joan Massagué and assisted reproduction expert Anna Veiga, to name two of the scientists involved, assured that voting for the pro-independence unitary list will “increase the resources that science requires and provide the state structures to guarantee the consolidation and growth of the research system”. The text outlines Catalonia’s commitment to a knowledge society and criticises Spain’s cuts in the scientific field and their “old-fashioned” working system.
The signers of the document are: Jordi Galí, from the International Economy Research Centre; Sloan Kettering Institute oncologist Joan Massagué; Bonaventura Clotet, from the Health Sciences Research Institute of the “Germans Trias i Pujol” Foundation; Stanford University’s professor Joan Ramon Resina; Princeton University professor Carles Boix; Anna Veiga, from the Centre of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona; Josep Maria Gatell, from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona; Manel Esteller, from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute; Josep Maria Llovet, from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona; Xavier Estivill, from the Centre for Genomic Regulation; Ramon Brugada, from the University of Girona; Jaume Bertranpetit, from University Pompeu Fabra and Marta Sanz-Solé, from the University of Barcelona.
Spain’s way of working is “old-fashioned”
The text emphasises Catalonia’s commitment to science and knowledge and names the National Agreement for Research and Innovation, signed by most of the parties and social agents, as an example of this. However, they lament that this effort “hasn’t been fully accompanied by the successive Spanish governments”. The professionals criticise the “exaggerated reductions in the budget” and the “incompetence to regulate Spanish science in a more modern way”. Following this, the text speaks of the “old-fashioned organisation of the Spanish scientific installations” and “the constant administrative obstacles in the project auditoriums” which they describe as “disastrous”.
The signatories also report that resource distribution doesn’t always respond to the criterion of competitiveness and “sometimes political and subjective criteria are used to decide what the priorities are”. “This way of doing things is an obstacle to our country displaying its potential and continuing to grow in terms of quantity and quality” which they assure “is not guaranteed in the short term”.
They also emphasise that it is necessary to be innovative in order to create social and economic development from knowledge and they don’t see a chance to do this if Catalonia “doesn’t get its own State structures to set in place the appropriate policies”.