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Economic Worries Bring Scientific Ones

Researchers in Argentina are concerned that the country's economic crisis will devastate its scientific enterprise, ScienceInsider reports.

As part of its austerity plan, the Argentine government has cut research budgets and done away with eight ministries, it adds. The government developed a balanced budget for 2019 in which the science budget falls from 3.7 billion pesos (about $96 million) in 2018 to 3.4 billion pesos ($88 million), but ScienceInsider points out that, when inflation is taken into consideration, that becomes a budget cut of 35 percent. The peso, it notes, has lost about half its value this year.

At the same time, it reports that, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Productive Innovation, which was established a little more than a decade ago, has been folded into the education ministry and that the science minister has been demoted to a government secretary.

"By lowering the budget, the government doesn't make science a priority for the future," Susana Hernández, president of the Argentine Association for Advancement of Science, tells ScienceInsider.