I’ll briefly summarize the article from Nature by Amaya Moro-Martin:
Spain’s ministry of science no longer exists, having been absorbed, along with a substantial cut in funding, by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
Spain’s university system is so backward that Spanish researchers are staying abroad, and recent PhDs will be forced to move out of Spain if they want jobs (hence the brain drain in Spain).
Science is not a priority in Spain.
So much for the summary. My question: when can we expect similar changes in other countries, perhaps even in the US? If US researchers and universities don’t wake up and realize that ‘this could never happen to us’ has never been a sound policy, I believe it will be sooner than most think (certainly sooner than ‘never’).
Researchers should stop fighting demands for accountability (for instance, NSF’s Broader Impacts Criterion in the US or the Research Excellence Framework and RCUK’s Pathways to Impact in the UK), and start viewing such demands as an opportunity to make the case for the importance of research to society!
Of course, this presupposes that our research IS important for society ….