Ciência, cura-te a ti própria

NOVA IORQUE – A ciência pode ser o maior sucesso da humanidade como espécie. Graças à revolução científica que teve início no século XVII, actualmente o homem dispõe de meios que lhe permitem a comunicação instantânea, o transporte rápido, uma dieta rica e diversificada e a prevenção e tratamento eficazes para doenças que outrora eram fatais. Além disso, a ciência constitui a maior esperança da humanidade no sentido de enfrentar ameaças existenciais como as alterações climáticas, os novos agentes patogénicos, os bólides extraterrestres e o aumento demográfico.

Mas a iniciativa científica encontra-se ameaçada por forças externas e internas. Presentemente, a comunidade científica deve usar a sua capacidade de autocorrecção para enfrentar essas ameaças, tendo por base em novas informações, descobertas, experiências e ideias (que são matéria do progresso científico há séculos).

Um dos grandes obstáculos ao progresso científico é a crescente escassez de financiamento destinado à investigação - uma tendência que foi agravada pela crise económica global. As perspectivas incertas em matéria de financiamento não só desencorajam os cientistas na prossecução linhas de investigação arriscadas ou não dirigidas, que poderiam conduzir a descobertas importantes, como também dificultam o recrutamento dos melhores e mais brilhantes profissionais para as carreiras científicas, especialmente tendo em conta o amplo programa de formação e especialização que tais carreiras exigem.

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