Argentina’s achievements in the fields of science and technology are renowned in Ibero-America and beyond. State-run agencies and institutions across diverse areas—nuclear energy, satellite production, research and development, aerospace and scientific education, to name only a few—are unparallelled in their output. The Argentine state is currently the primary investor in national R&D—60% in 2022—largely because the private sector has tended to focus on short-term investments with quick turnaround and quick profits.
Now, all this is in jeopardy under the madman President Javier Milei who sees the state as an “oppressive” obstacle to the free market. The country’s scientific infrastructure is likely to be turned into an instrument for profit-making, run by businessmen and financiers who know nothing about science, and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that depend on the science and R&D sectors for employment, as in the nuclear sector, may not survive. According to nuclear scientist Diego Hurtado, under the anti-science, neoliberal Mauricio Macri government (2015-2019), some 23,000 SMEs went under.