2011-12-24

    Los ministerios de la Ciencia

    17 de abril de 2004. Tras una sorprendente victoria electoral, el nuevo presidente del gobierno, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, anuncia la composición del Consejo de Ministros. El ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología de Aznar desaparece. La palabra "ciencia" ni siquiera está presente en el título del ministerio que acoge las competencias de la política de investigación.

    En los cuatro años de esta primera legislatura de Zapatero, el gasto en I+D se duplicó.


    El anterior ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, creado por Aznar en el 2000, tenía de ciencia sólo el nombre. Era el ministerio de Industria, con mayores competencias tecnológicas ganadas a Fomento, y un simple lavado de cara. La secretaría de Estado de Investigación no pintaba nada en esta nueva casa, fue ignorada por completo. La etiqueta "ciencia" en el nombre era sólo eso, una etiqueta, una palabra escrita en la fachada para dar una imagen de modernidad sin que los gobernantes apostaran de verdad por la innovación como motor del desarrollo del país. El resultado es de sobra conocido, un crecimiento económico desbocado con pies de ladrillo y cemento mal cuajado.

    Al volver a su vieja casa en el ministerio de Educación, sin embargo, la apuesta por hacer de la ciencia española una empresa puntera a nivel internacional fue asumida por el gobierno en su conjunto. No estaría en la fachada de ningún edificio, pero la secretaría de Estado de Investigación logró un apoyo sin precedentes.

    En 2008 ocurren dos cosas. La primera, la creación del ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, con Cristina Garmendia, investigadora y empresaria, al frente. Todo el mundo interpreta este paso como el fiel reflejo de la apuesta de Zapatero por cambiar el modelo productivo nacional, por cumplir el viejo sueño de alcanzar la media europea en gasto en I+D. Algunos incluso soñaban con alcanzar el compromiso de Lisboa.

    La segunda cosa que ocurre en 2008 es el colapso del mundo financiero. La burbuja inmobiliaria estadounidense hunde bancos de inversión gigantescos que a su vez arrastran a la banca internacional al borde del precipicio. El crédito desaparece, aguja que termina pinchando la burbuja inmobiliaria española. El paro se desboca, la economía se detiene por completo.

    En esta situación el flamante ministerio de Ciencia no tiene el poder suficiente para convencer al resto del gobierno de la necesidad de cumplir, ahora más que nunca, con el compromiso de apuesta decidida por la investigación como motor de la economía. Los investigadores, en solidaridad con el resto de la nación, deben apretarse también el cinturón, se dice. La correlación entre crecimiento de PIB e inversión en I+D es ignorada. La apuesta por la ciencia es una estrategia de crecimiento, sí, pero a medio plazo. Si no se traduce en beneficios inmediatos, no es prioritario cuando escasean los recursos. La mentalidad cortoplacista se impone a la altura de miras. Al final, el flamante ministerio de Ciencia es otra especie de burbuja, una brillante superficie llena de aire caliente.

    21 de diciembre de 2011. Mariano Rajoy, designado sucesor de Aznar que perdió aquellas elecciones de 2004, acaba de ganarle al designado sucesor del que le ganó a él. En su Consejo de Ministros tampoco hay cabida para el ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación; tampoco aparece la palabra "ciencia" en la casa que acogerá las competencias, el ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.

    Que la ciencia española tenga o no ministerio propio es irrelevante. Lo verdaderamente importante es que el que la defienda lo haga con convicción y, sobre todo, poder de persuasión. Por el ministerio de Industria, digo Ciencia y Tecnología, de Aznar pasaron tres ministros, a cuál más empeñado en ignorar a los investigadores. Esperemos que el nuevo ministro de Economía sí preste sus oídos al que elija como secretario de Estado de I+D+i y el sistema nacional de investigación coja fuelle a partir de 2012. Por la cuenta que nos trae a todos.


    PD. Ciencia: Un mal ministerio es peor que una buena Secretaría de Estado, opinión de Víctor Ruiz que comparto plenamente. Él es optimista, opina que Luis de Guindos tendrá más fácil defender la ciencia ante Rajoy. Yo soy más cauto. Añadir intermediarios entre la boca de los investigadores y la oreja de Rajoy es peligroso. ¿Qué pasa si, como cuando se dependía de Industria (perdón de nuevo, Ciencia y Tecnología) es el ministro de Economía el que ignora a los que representan poco más del 1% de sus preocupaciones?

    Como defiende José Manuel López Nicolás en El gran debate de investidura de la Ciencia: ¿Ministerio o Secretaría de Estado?, siempre será mejor un buen ministro que un buen secretario de Estado. Por no hablar del potencial peligro de que tengamos un mal secretario de Estado.

    Completo la lista de lecturas interesantes sobre este tema con sendos artículos de Público (El secretario de Estado de I+D tendrá que actuar como "ministro de facto") y El País (¿Debe haber un ministerio de ciencia?).

Referencias (TrackBacks)

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"Los investigadores, en solidaridad con el resto de la nación, deben apretarse también el cinturón" dijeron. Claro, los investigadores tanto como cualquier otro ciudadano cualquiera, la investigación no. No lo entiende quien no lo puede entender, por ignorancia o quien no lo quiere entender, por soberbia.



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Inicio > Historias > Los ministerios de la Ciencia