Hundred Scholars ask Kirchner (2006)
Almost a Hundred Scholars from all over the World ask Argentine President respect for Culture. No constructive or lasting policy could be successfully implemented if in the agencies of art, science, research and higher education, practices and habits do not have their organization chart restructured in a way that would eliminate the corruption, falsifying, genuflective behavior, opportunism, moral indifference and, what is more serious and lethal, the self-censorship or fear to express oneself freely. by Eduardo R. Saguier Academic Collapse and Bureaucratic Despotism in Argentine Culture. Collective Letter to President Kirchner To: Argentine Presidency-Buenos Aires February 14th, 2006 To the President of the Argentine Republic Dr. Néstor Kirchner Dear Mr. President The undersigned, artists, professors, researchers and scholars, from different corners of the world, thanks to our Argentine colleagues, have become acquainted with the critical situation which cultural institutions in Argentina are going through. For this reason, and based on four main documents deeply committed with world culture and with a transparent and credible international scientific community, we would like to ask you to consider a new hierarchical organization of the Argentine cultural institutions (the World Music Charter, Zone Franche, 2001, www.zonefranche.com/pdf/CharteAnglais.pdf ; the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, Max Planck Society, 2003, www.zim.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html ; the Declaration of Bucharest about values and ethical principles, UNESCO-CEPES, 2004; www.cepes.ro/September/French/declaration.htm ; and The International Researcher´s Charter for Knowledge Societies, IAMCR, 2005, www.petitiononline.com/iamcr/ ). The facts and arguments leading us to this presentation, in solidarity with our Argentine colleagues, are motivated on a series of shortfalls, vice and symbolic violence which are publicly and globally known by simply checking several sources of information, herein quoted through multiple links, making it difficult for professionals to denounce them within the country, and are listed as follows: Degradation of Scientific and Cultural institutions The increasing degradation of the artistic and scientific institutions arises in part from these agencies not being hierarchically honored. This sad situation could be reverted if the artistic and scientific institutions are ennobled by giving them ministry status (like in Brazil, http://www.cultura.gov.br/ ), submitting the appointment of its authorities to public competition with standing and independent judges, observing the periodicity of their positions, and raising the nominations to parliamentary hearings and control. Moreover, these appointments should be supervised and evaluated by continental and international auditors, without compromising national sovereignty. Brain Drain The anti-democratic mechanisms of appointment, evaluation, and qualification of the national artistic and scientific bodies currently in effect in Argentina and many other countries of Latin America, are feeding illegitimate situations that lead to a state of deterioration and obsolescence, detrimental to what should be modern, autonomous, competitive and meritocratic institutions. This regrettable circumstance happens when the idea flourishes that people consume only goods and that the spiritual well being belongs exclusively to elitist minorities. It also happens when the institutions that accommodate the cultural patrimony do not invest in patterns of excellence, capability and quality; or in the search, discovery and dialogue between cultures and disciplines that could lead to true advances or innovations, and not mere imitations. This increasing deterioration, which also disseminates into higher educational levels, causes profound uneasiness, and a cultural backwardness that encourages unrestrained brain drain. This drain does not only respond to economic motives, but essentially to cultural and symbolic ones (http://www.alternet.org/globalaffairs/13148 ).Subordination to Geopolitics of Knowledge. This deterioration has nourished a cultural provincialism and an ideological subordination to a geopolitics of knowledge and culture, which undermines the incorporation of strategic fields from art, science and humanities (http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/argentina/falda-del-carmen.htm ), banning research and creativity as well as producing a digital regression of modern methods and techniques; all of which has further deepened the technological, scientific and humanistic prevailing gap with regard to institutions of developed countries. Lack of Electronic Transparency The Argentine artistic and scientific system, which survives isolated and fragmented, and whose actions have been assimilated to public administrative routines, is used to surrendering to ritual simulations of periodical artistic and scientific reports, which are neither published nor otherwise made public. The fact that these reports remain unpublished for years might have been violating not only the principles about the publicity of official documents but also the free access paradigm of information and knowledge exchange, by preventing the local and foreign colleagues the right -assigned by the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (Max Planck Society, 2003)-- to ascertain electronically their intellectual quality, as well as their honesty and seriousness (http://www.zim.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html ). Thus, it would be reasonable to assume the existence of numerous violations of ethical codes. Obstacles to Verify Scientific Frauds Because of lack of electronic transparency of unpublished academic production, abuse of confidential procedures and lack of appropriate mechanisms to denounce fraud --which anybody can check visiting Argentine official websites (http://www.secyt.gov.ar/ ; http://www.cultura.gov.ar/ ; and http://www.conicet.gov.ar/ )-- evidences of scientific fakes or uncontrolled results are very difficult to detect and reveal, and therefore an external verification of Argentine public academic institutions is full of obstacles extremely hard to overcome (http://www.lafogata.org/04arg/arg8/art6.htm ). Besides the lack of electronic transparency, reports lack also linguistic or semantic transparency because they happened to be extremely hermetic ".to purposefully encrypt morally suspect information", often lacking abstracts written for non-specialists, as a support to the technical report, that only very few experts can follow. Potential Artistic and Scientific Hoax Thus, hidden behind the lack of electronic transparency and covered by an hermetic jargon and an abuse of confidentiality in administrative procedures, in an uncertain number of reports, its sources or data might have been distorted, adulterated or falsified, and its methods and conclusions do not fulfill a scientific truth or an artistic excellence.It is also suspected that some reports might have been plagiarized, produced through evil acts and/or simply constructed out of thin air. As no system-wide control or checks and balances of these values exist, violations are prone to multiply, with even cases of fraud occurring, without its authors ever being investigated, or judicially prosecuted. Low Ethical and Electronic Standards Individual researchers and artists are not only morally responsible to the research and representation process -selection of topics and methods, and the integrity of creativity or research-but also to its final results. According to the Declaration of Bucharest (2004) all scholars, artists and scientists alike, should ".commit themselves to high ethical standards and a code of ethics based on relevant norms enshrined in international human rights instruments should be established for scientific professions". The social responsibility of artists and scientists requires that ".they maintain high standards of integrity and quality control, share their knowledge, communicate with the public and educate the younger generation" (http://www.cepes.ro/September/French/declaration.htm .). In that same ethical line, The International Researcher´s Charter for Knowledge Societies (IAMCR, 2005) established that authorities should promote ".open, collaborative and self-organizing publishing models and software development methods that are accessible to researchers and available in not-for-profit databases, libraries and archives; thereby supporting researchers as content producers and as active participants in the open access paradigm of knowledge creation and exchange" (http://www.petitiononline.com/iamcr ). Decline in Quality in the Artistic and Scientific Competitiveness and Productivity The jurisdictional decline in quality, the geopolitical censorship and curtailment, and the ethical and bureaucratic corrosion and decomposition create a situation in which Argentine competitiveness in the international ranks radically diminishes; local artistic creativity and scientific productivity erodes; patented innovation abroad decreases; and royalties which should accrue to national institutions simply disappears (http://hipforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52579 ). Hidden Authoritarian Factionalism All these anomalies, anachronisms and obstacles such as the institutional decline in quality, the geopolitical censorship or curtailment and the academic corruption made possible a situation in which artistic, scientific and higher educational institutions have become overwhelmed by a hidden authoritarian factionalism totally devoid of any sign of meritocracy, transparency and fair competition (http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v12n6/ ). In its place a policy of "pulling strings" and of awards, punishments and personal vendettas; a hidden discourse of discrimination, destined to silence critical opinions and supress dissidents; and obscurantist habits inherited from different authoritarian regimes, that have cost the Argentine people, in its recent past, numerous losses of their more precious artists and scientists who disappeared in the fog of torture and extermination (http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/universidad/index-2003-11-26.html ) In this regard, the artistic, scientific and higher educational agencies should promote a creative work environment free of all kind of political, ideological, regional, racial, sexual, religious or moral harassment. According to the above mentioned international documents, these agencies should form a community where mutual trust prevail, based on the values of an open, pluralistic and democratic society. Illegitimate Symbolic Violence The perversions of the cultural system (devaluations, censorships and covering ups) have uncovered the phantom of an illegitimate symbolic violence, that is to say. an ideological control and the mechanisms of exclusion (discrimination, proscription, postponement and reprisal), that without producing physical death continues castrating the soul and the mind of what should be an independent intellectual community (http://quebec.indymedia.org/en/node/23503 ). Feeding of Violence and the Following Institutional Devaluation This illegitimate apparatus of symbolic violence --which hinders the dispersion of its captive clientele-- generating misconduct of different kinds (cover-ups, censorships, malfeasance and ideological falsehoods), abets the silence and consent to anachronistic superposition by state institutions; ignores the decline in quality production and the fragmentation of artistic and scientific common spaces; censors or curtails the editorial information and production; and silences the abandonment, desolation and decomposition of institutions dear to Argentine culture, such as CONICET, National Library, Colon Theatre, National Archive, National Academies, National Museums (Natural Science Bernardino Rivadavia, Miguel Lillo, Bellas Artes, etc), and National Universities (http://www.simon-bolivar.org/bolivar/un_barrio_para_ba.html ). Conclusion The purpose of our document is to kindly request from you, as President of the Argentine people, the creation of a new and more relevant hierarchy to the Art and Science areas, incorporating and centralizing them under a presidential jurisdiction or giving them a Ministry status. Finally, we wish to confirm that no constructive or lasting policy could be successfully implemented if in the agencies of art, science, research and higher education, practices and habits do not have their organization chart restructured in a way that would eliminate the corruption, falsifying, genuflective behavior, opportunism, moral indifference and, what is more serious and lethal, the self-censorship or fear to express oneself freely. We remain with due respect Yours truly,Sincerely, The Undersigned Name Comments area of expertise institutional affiliation 78. Joaquin E. Meabe philosophy of law Universidad Nacional del Nordeste (UNNE) Corrientes-Argentina 77. Margarita Hernandez Rivera artist painter Independent 76. Marcelo Flores Ch. Profesor universitario Universidad Pedagógica Nacional-Querétaro-Mexico 75. R. Enrique Viturro Ph.D. Chemical Phisics Xerox Corporation/XIG/ Wilson Center for Research and Technology Rochester, NY-USA 74. Dr. Koen Van Waerebeek Global Marine Living Resources CEPEC/Museo de Delfines Lima-20 PERU 73. Ernesto González Limnology Universidad Central de Venezuela Instituto de Biología Experimental 72. Carlos David Rodríguez Flores Biological and Dental Anthropologist Observatorio de Reconocimiento Biologico Humano ORBIH Tulúa-Colombia 71. Jonathan Dostrovsky Neuroscience University of Toronto Canada 70. Fernando Felix Mamiferos Marinos Fundacion Ecuatoriana para el Estudio de Mamiferos Marinos (FEMM) Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Quito 69. Juan J. Botero Philosophy Universidad Nacional de Colombia Departamento de Filosofia 68. Marco Ruffino Philosophy Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro Brazil 67. Kirll Degtyarenko Bioinformatics, Cheminformatics European Bioinformatics Institute Cambridge, UK 66. Lino Pizzolon Limnologia-Ecologia Acuatica Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia SIB Esquel-Argentina 65. Guillermo Chalar Marquisá Limnology Professor Assistant University of the Republic (Uruguay) 64. Captain Alfred S. McLaren USN (Ret.) Ph.D. President Emeritus, The Explorers Club Artic and Antartic Oceanography, Deep Sea Oceanography The Explorers Club, former professor at University of Colorado and Columbia University Peterhouse, Cambridge University 63. Régis Pinto de Lima Oceanografía e mamiferos aquaticos IBAMA/MMA sim 62. Iryna Kuchma Social Sciences, academia publications, open access International Renaissance Foundation Ukraine 61. Cristiano Leite Parente Marine Environment Petroleo Brasileiro SA 60. Daniel M. Palacios Marine Sciences National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Research Division, Pacific Grove, California, USA 59. Carolina Tosi Marine Conservation Projeto Cetaceos do Maranhao Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte 58. Fagner Magalhaes Marine Conservation Projeto Cetaceos do Maranhao Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte 57. Jordi Berenguer Periodista Oceana Oficina para América del Sur y Antártica 56. Carlos Tapia Anthropology Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Estado de Michoacán-México 55. Andre Silva Barreto Zoology CTTMar UNIVALI 54. Palmira Vélez Jiménez Profesora Ayudante Historia de América Universidad de Zaragoza-Spain 53. Susan Milward Conservation Research Associate Animal Welfare Institute United States 52. Thomas M. Millington Professor of Political Science Emeritus Hobart and William Smith Colleges-New York 51. Laura Rojas Marine Conservation Conservación de Mamíferos Marinos de México COMARINO 50. Yolanda Alaniz Pasini Conservation Conservación de Mamíferos Marinos de México COMARINO 49. Richard O´Barry Marine mammal specialist One Voice-France Dolphin Project 48. Peter W. Michor Mathematics Fakultaet fuer Mathematik Universitaet Wien-Austria 47. line voided 46. Thomas D. Wilson Information science Professor Emeritus University of Sheffiled 45. Joachim Funke Psychology Heidelberg University Director of the Department of Psychology 44. Sergio Della Sala Human Cognitive Neuroscience University of Edimburgh-UK 43. Frederic Amblard Computer Sciences Universite des Sciences Sociales-Toulouse- Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse-France 42. Peter Suber Philosophy, open access to research Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College Open Access Project-Director at Public Knowledge 41. Giovanni Cercignani Biochemistry Pisa University- Biology Department-Italian CNR-Institute of biophysics 40. John M. Bryden-Prof.Emeritus Human Geography and Rural Development UHI Millenium Institue and Policy Web University of Aberdeen 39. Aant Elzinga History & Philosophy of Science Department of History of Ideas University of Goteborg-Sweden 38. Mark Berman Conservationist Assistant Director Internat. Marine Mammal Project Herat Island Institute San Francisco 37. Gabriel Kreiman Computational Neuroscience MIT MIT 36. Julio Reyes Robles Biología, Zoología, Cetáceos Areas Costeras y Recursos Marinos Peru 35. Alberto Enrique D´Ottavio Docente-Investigador Médico Consejo de Investigaciones Rosario-Argentina 34 Peter McLaren Political Sociology and philosophy of education Graduate School of Education and Information Studies University of California-Los Angeles 33. Gary Orfield Civil Rights, Education & Social Policy Harvard University Civil Rights Project 32. Pilar Barbosa Linguistics Instituto de Letras e Ciencias Humanas Universidade de Minho 31. Miriam Marmontel Wildlife Conservation Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel Mamiraua Brazil 30. J.W. de Wekker Vegas Director Organizacion Simón Bolívar Venezuela 29. Fairlamb, Alan H. Biochemistry and drug discovery for tropical diseases University of Dundee Scotland 28. Diniz, Alai García Literatura Hispanoamericana Universidade Federale de Santa Catarina 27. Philippe Marliére Senior Lecturer in Politics University College-London United Kingdom 26. José Martins da Silva Júnior Conservação Centro Golfinho Rotador Fernando de Noronha - Brasil 25. Domenico Losurdo Philosophy University Urbino Italy 24. Jules M. R. Soto Cultural Renaissance of Argentina now! Museology Universidade do Vale do Itajaí and International Council of Museums Brasil 23. line voided 22. Stephen D, Morris Political Science University of South Alabama USA 21. José Yáñez Zoology Museo Nacional de Historia Natural Chile 20. Perez Rivera Graciela Education Centro de Estudios sobre la Universidad de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) 19. Karina Groch Biology Projeto Baleia Franca - IWC/Brasil Coordinator 18. Maria Emilia Yamamoto Animal behavior Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte Brazil 17. Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D. Biology Humane Society International Washington, DC, USA 16. François Houtart prof. em à l'UCL (Belgique) developpement Centre Tricontinental Ave Ste Gertrude 5, 1348 Louvain la Neuve 15. Paul Spong Cetacean science OrcaLab/Pacific Orca Society Canada 14. Luciano Nunes de Almeida Historia da America Latina Care 13. Simon Ashworth Wood Politics and Japanese studies graduate of the University of Sydney Industrial Workers of the World 12. Rodrigo Fabián Muñoz Cerón Veterinary Sciences, Wildlife, Welfcare, Parasitology Universidad de Concepción Chile 11. Ricardo Palma Entomology Museum of New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand 10. Hugo Patricio Castello Marine Biology Academia del Mar Argentina 9. Eduardo Montero Natural Sciences University of Tucuman Argentina 8. Prof. Dr. Alexander Fedorov media education, media literacy Russian Association for Film and Media Education President of Association 7. William W. Rossiter aquatic mammal science, conservation and education Cetacean Society International P.O. Box 953, Georgetown,CT 06829 USA; www.csiwhalesalive.org 6. Marcelo Mendieta Journalist National Association of Hispanic Journalist (NAHJ) 5. Mara Rogers Language Faculty of Arts - French, Italian and Spanish Studies University of Melbourne - Australia 4. Nils Jacobsen Latin American History University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 910 S. Fifth St, Champaign, IL 61820 USA 3. Lewis Pyenson History of Science University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA 70504-0831 2. Rolando Quiros Chemist, Ph.D. Buenos Aires University CONICET 1. Eduardo R. Saguier Historian Museo Roca-CONICET-Buenos Aires Researcher All those who wish to give us their support, we will appreciate to apply to http://www.PetitionOnline.com/3954edus/ indicating your complete name, area of expertise, institutional affiliation, and email. 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