As revealed by the prestigious Laboratory of Educational Economics (LEE) of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia’s average investment in science and technology has been 0.3% of GDP in the past six years, according to World Bank figures, below countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico and even less From the Mediterranean to Latin America and the Caribbean. The new government must realize that the train of progress has left again and is fueled by “knowledge”, and the countries that lose it will be doomed to practically extinction, to economic futility.
In the terrible times of the epidemic, it was counting on the arrival of vaccines developed by other countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and China, which realized that in the age of knowledge, investing in science and technology is not a luxury but rather the prevailing necessity to develop new technology-based products with high added value that make It is possible to boost the economy. In Colombia, it seems our rulers did not understand that people from underdeveloped countries like ours are being treated, vaccinated, entertained and killed with technological products developed in first world countries.
The first train of progress left Coalbrookdale (UK) in the mid-eighteenth century and with steam, telegraph, roads and canals changed the economy and society. What we now call developed countries are those in which the industrial revolution spread rapidly, such as the United States, France, Germany and the Nordic countries. Powerful kingdoms like Dayananda’s India did not understand the world – just as Colombia is today – and continued to care more about their gods than about steam engines, and in this way they were conquered and exploited by the United Kingdom. Arturo Luna, the new Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, must strive to reverse our scientific and technological backwardness, it is necessary if progress in the country is really needed.
The second train of progress begins with all manifestations of biotechnology and artificial intelligence. Today we are being vaccinated against COVID-19 with messenger RNA vaccines, the genetic material of plants and animals is being edited, there are restaurants and banks that are staffed only by robots, and there are military planes that fly without pilots. New technologies will have a far greater impact than steam and the telegraph in the production of food, transportation, textiles, and weapons. And the new government, under the leadership of Minister Arturo Luna, should set to work, beyond loquacious rhetoric, to lead the country onto the second train of progress. Investment in science, technology and innovation must be significantly increased and hopefully to 1% of GDP, as the Panel of Elders has repeatedly suggested.
If the pandemic has left us with any moral, it is the value of science, technology and education. The pandemic has affected the economy of less developed countries like Colombia much more than knowledge-based economies that develop technology-based products, like the United States. In addition, the pandemic has hit the less educated people living side by side more difficult, while the more educated have been able to continue working from home via Zoom, Meet, Teams and other underdeveloped technology platforms. In Bolivia, Colombia or Ethiopia. The new Petro government and its current Minister of Science and Technology must realize that everything must be risked for the scientific and technological development of the country and for education with more coverage and quality. We just learned about the epidemic.
* Professor at CES University.
“Future teen idol. Hardcore twitter trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble travel evangelist.”