¿What is the current situation in Peru regarding Science and Technology?
By: Diana Sofía Peralta Arrasco (@di.arrasco), Dabilui Antonio Isasi Cabrera (@dabilui.isasi) and Cielo Chávez Serrano (@cielo.chavez.serrano)
The World Science Day for Peace and Development is an annual tradition celebrated every November 10th and created by UNESCO in 2001, after the World Conference on Science held in Hungary and organized by the International Council of Science, aimed to acknowledge the importance of science for peace and development of the society, and also to continue investing in the scientific education and research. The scientists’ discoveries and inventions over time have achieved the boosting and promotion of economic development, poverty reduction, literature, and better nutrition around the world.
Impact of science in the last years.
It is known that science has an important impact on the future of society and because of the COVID-19 situation, the transcendence of science became more evident. The devastating effects of the pandemic and the impact it had on each country and society were influenced by a series or system of beliefs. Therefore, the segmentation of people at an international level due to their beliefs was an inevitable step. We find a group of people who believe in science and understand it; another group who believe in it but don’t understand it, and the last group who don’t believe in science. The first group had appropriate behavior during the sanitary crisis; the second group adopted a more vulnerable role because there existed the desire to follow the recommendations but did not fully understand them; and lastly, the small group of people who didn’t accept the science or any scientific finding. Also, appeared non-coherent behaviors, like the use of methods that were not tested scientifically, put their integrity in danger.
Thus, science is present in every moment of our lives, it faces different global challenges where the availability, accessibility, quality, and acceptability of the products within the society are essential for the development of the scientific capacity, and even more within the context of the digital revolution.
Peruvian scenario on science and technology
In the Peruvian context, the pandemic revealed a depressing situation in science and technology, because the laboratories are not enough, and there aren’t planning ability, resources, and genomic surveillance. Currently, the institutions that work in the area of Science and Technology are the Concytec (Science and Technology Council) and since this year the Sinacti (National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation) which is a reinforcement of the first one. However, according to the last year’s data, only 0.17% of the GDP is invested in CTI (Science, technology, and innovation), besides, whoever wants to conduct research in this area and obtain a scholarship, instead of receiving enough incentives, faces obstacles like the condition to return to the country or stay. (El Comercio, 2021).
According to an interview with the former president Sagasti, conducted by El Comercio newspaper (2022), this year, the Sinacti was chosen as the best option compared to the creation of a ministry, because “opting for a ministry is just politize the scientific and technological development” (El Comercio, 2022). It is understood that this area is not just one sector, but works closely with other sectors of the country. For that reason, there are required resources and an adequate system to manage them; it is not required, on the contrary, a ministry that competes with others to obtain resources and delays their delivery of them. Sagasti firmly stated: “If doesn’t exist a clear engagement of the President and the Prime Minister, no ministry will solve nothing. It has not solved anything in any part of the world, I can attest that”. (El Comercio, 2022)
The challenge this area is facing at a national level is that the existing ministries engage in assigning part of their budget to science, technology, and innovation. The purpose is to work in an integrated way and coordinate with the Concytec because it is an area of concern for all ministries.
¿What can be done in favor of science and technology in Peru?
Currently, there are different sectors in which the Peruvian people present their projects of technology and innovation, but one of the trend areas is the circular economy, technology-friendly with the environment. For example, the students Lucia Pejerrey and Jessica Porras, from the Universidad Privada del Norte (Private University of the North), created the capsule fertilizer Pacuy, fertilizing product whose goal is to take advantage of the guinea pig’s manure and the fiber of the corn’s leaves. This fertilizer can be easily used at home and does not generate a bad smell, lasts long, and has better quality. In another case, the company Bio Natural Solutions, created a new line of sanitizers Kuma Nat, after analyzing the properties of the fruits coming from the coast, highlands, and jungle of Peru. This sanitizer possesses effectivity in the elimination of bacteria and viruses (like the one that causes covid-19). (Andina, 2022).
On the other hand, to boost the area of science and technology, Peru is getting back this year to attend in person the event: “Peru with Science”, on the days 11, 12, and 13 of November. In this fair, the progress of scientific research in Peru Will be introduced and will have the participation of more than 30 speakers like universities, institutions, companies, etc., as well as divulgation dialogues, workshops, and other activities for the public in general. (RPP noticias, 2022).
Science serves the international community and thanks to it we can make more pacific and fair societies, not just at the social level, but also at the political, economic, and scientific levels, so that a society for all of us can be imminent. In Peru, activities of spread and research presentations are necessary to keep contributing to peace building through technology and development.
Ortiz Bisso, Bruno. (June 15, 2022) “La creación del ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología no va a solucionar nada”. (“The creation of the ministry of Science and Technology won’t solve anything”). El Comercio. https://elcomercio.pe/tecnologia/ciencias/francisco-sagasti-la-creacion-del-ministerio-de-ciencia-y-tecnologia-no-va-a-solucionar-nada-noticia/?ref=ecr
Delgado Pease, Nicolás. (May 14, 2021) “Sobre un Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología”. (“About a Ministry of Science and Technology”). El Comercio.
Redacción RPP. (October 14, 2022) “Perú con Ciencia: Feria científica que presentará avances en ciencia y tecnología regresa en su edición 2022”. (“Peru with Science: Scientific Fair that will present the advances on science and technology comes back on his edition 2022”). RPP noticias.
Andina. (May 08, 2022) “Conoce los proyectos peruanos tecnológicos y de innovación de tecnología circular”. (“Know the Peruvian projects on technology and innovation in circular technology”). Andina noticias. https://andina.pe/agencia/noticia-conoce-los-proyectos-peruanos-tecnologicos-y-innovacion-economia-circular-891793.aspx
Álvarez Risco, Aldo Rodrigo. (January 11, 2021) Universidad de Lima.
Organización de las Naciones Unidas. Portada: Día Mundial de la Ciencia para la Paz y el Desarrollo. (United Nations Organization. Front page: World Science Day for Peace and Development). https://www.un.org/es/observances/world-science-day