Let’s talk about Science, Technology and Innovation

In recent years, the use of the terms Science, Technology and Innovation (CTI) has been persistently reintroduced at the societal level in Cuba. There are clear signs from the government in this regard, and all institutions of the Central State Administration, companies, local governments and other dependent organizations manage these three categories in their plans.although in most cases it is more disciplinary than understanding.

In the middle of this year, President Díaz-Canel and his ministry team completed a first round of exchanges with representatives of the entire apparatus of the Central State Administration, reviewing plans, perspectives and proposals on this issue.

Despite the dwindling resources of the state budget, substantial funds have been allocated to CITMA, the governing body of scientific activities in the country, to support projects in all disciplines.

Much progress has been made, but even in the statements of managers and subordinates there is fundamental confusion as to who is the subject of these duties. As ad-hoc groups involved in STI-related activities create new structures and projects, the goal is to include “professors”, “learners” and those who have once shown an interest in postgraduate education, or simply to dig deeper into what they do. had already worked. The rest continue to be devoted to what they see as “essential” in their workplace, production, education or service.

And here is the first and very important exception: The call and understanding that we need to incorporate science, technology, and innovation into our daily activities is for everyone, not some.

If we talk about building socialism, then in theory everything should be superior to capitalism. And what are the engines that drive the implementation of these three concepts? Are there social calls to change reality? No.

In capitalism, the engine behind CTI is competition, the urgent need to excel, the sickness of winning and not losing, the stigma of falling behind and being relegated. The distance between university research and starting a small business to develop a product or service is narrowing.

Socialism is not based on competitionbut this should not make us forget that we are part of a world that lives at other speeds, with other sufferings. We must not forget that we have scarce resources, that they are running out, that we live on a planet that is rapidly being destroyed by others, and that new technologies mean, among other things, that the future will begin in the next second (perhaps one thousandth). .

We have the stigma of inaction and denial of change, the phrase we hear over and over in our business environment when someone says “that’s how it’s always been done” as a great excuse before making a request. due to lack of explanation or conclusion for an error.

The questions we should ask ourselves every day and every night should be: “How can we do it another way?”, “How can I get better results at a lower cost?”, “How can I achieve the goal with another quality?”.

It is true that in a society, it is not possible to require all its members to fully understand the principles or scientific regularities that explain a process, whether in the field of health, agriculture or meteorology. However, thinking about what new tool (technology) I can use and, even better, how I can achieve the same goal in another way (innovation) can be within everyone’s reach.

Due to the nature of the area of ​​interest, there are sectors where progress has been made on all aspects of CTI. The doctor who does not work every day and does not learn from the mistakes he makes in front of his patients will quickly be doomed to failure and mediocrity. A person who believes that his treasure is reduced to university knowledge in computers and communication will be dragged by the progress of the next generation.

In teaching in general, if you explain the content to the student the same way every class shift, he will quickly be drawn to a cell phone screen or punished with an unrepentant yawn.

But there are other vital sectors where this need is perhaps less obvious. For many, irrigation is the only requirement for plants to grow in agriculture. Others continue to look at the use of fossil fuels and hardly underestimate the value of the clean energy nature gives us.

Despite Mother Nature’s recent blows to all Cubans, it’s impressive that, speaking of the “zero option”, there are those who for a few days only consider less diesel or less electric fluid in their supply grids. No sir, there are many who made the switch to solar panel, biomass and wind power yesterday. We had to before.

We all joked about the mastery of our mechanics, keeping real relics vehicles in working condition, and how parts from all member states of the United Nations system are part of an almendrón’s engine.

But we do not understand how the need for transport and the means used for it have changed. Virtual transport has replaced physical transport at many latitudes.

When we talk about the “problems” of transportation in a Cuban city, many look to MITRANS or CUPET. But let’s think for a moment, how many people would really have to go out every day if all the registration, offices, notary operations, registrations and cancellations in any service could be done from a mobile phone, among others? .

Can anyone calculate how many tons of fuel the team of programmers who created the Transfermóvil application saved the country? And how much time did it save users.

Already Mission to Life (CITMA) teaches and demands that population settlements affected by the manifestations of climate change cannot be rebuilt in the same geographical location, they will be increasingly far from coasts and lowlands.

Cubans have a protein in their DNA that prompts us to go out immediately after a cyclone has passed, to rebuild, restore, and above all, put everything in the same place and in the same way. It hurts to see that hurricanes that cross Pinar del Río always destroy tobacco drying houses. But how many times have we wondered if there is an alternative design for them? Would their structures have always collapsed if they were less resistant to the force of the wind?

Why don’t the Japanese almost blink when a typhoon passes? What did Mexicans learn from the earthquake ordeal?

And the reader’s reaction will always be: but comrades, there are plenty of resources. No, there are many examples of projects and initiatives that start with just the validity of an idea and the funds come out later. We must also innovate in the way we calculate our resources, recognizing that a current investment may represent a small fraction of a large loss in the future.

For many years in Cuba, we had the healthy pride of seeing ourselves as a producer, method inventive and resourceful (remembering Carpentier) country. After a while, conditions and certain technocratic calculations made us the importing country and as a result had an impact in terms of dependency relations to third parties.

The invitation to us to make science, technology and innovation a part of our lives is for everyone, not just one segment of the population. It is for young and old, leaders and leaders, intellectual workers, workers and peasants, even the unemployed. We should all feel that acquiring knowledge is useful not only for passing an exam or obtaining a degree, but also for changing the situation, changing our neighborhood, the country and the world.

It is one thing to describe the horizon from afar, it is another to try to reach it.

#Lets #talk #Science #Technology #Innovation

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