Tracks to Innovation for Social Welfare
Message from Ambassador José Antonio Zabalgoitia
Science and innovation have become ever present in our daily lives to such an extent, that feats that would have amazed us, do not surprise us anymore.
New materials, small objects capable of solving operations in impressive ways, implants, monitors, and sensors, have become household items, have become part of the landscape for millions of people around the world.
On the other hand, however, the proliferation of fake news, unsubstantiated theories, and the practice of discrediting knowledge, also have occupied a prominent place in our lives.
Against this backdrop, promoting an effective dialogue between the scientific community and society has become a fundamentally important task. This dialogue cannot be just an attempt to reproduce already known strategies of scientific dissemination. The real challenge is to develop a new language and establish new channels and entities according to the spirit of the times.
At PUENTES, we have identified that the creation of the Council for Knowledge and Innovation (COTECI) in Mexico; and the National Centre for Science Communication in the Netherlands responds to this common purpose.
On the one hand, COTECI is a body created by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, as a foreign policy tool to promote science, technology and innovation as levers for fostering social development in our country.
On the other hand, the National Centre for Science Communication, promoted by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, Robbert Dijkgraaf, seeks to bring scientific developments even closer to people's understanding.
The main element they have in common is their purpose of strengthening these institutions´ dialogue with society, and to do so in society's terms: accessible for all.
Current societies are increasingly involved in and attentive to science, innovation and technology, areas of knowledge that for a long time had been reserved for tightly-closed professional communities.
The work by COTECI and the National Centre for Science Communication also becomes a guideline for building new communication mechanisms where the members of research institutions and of the scientific community in Mexico and the Netherlands, can engage more effectively among peers, thus benefitting both countries.
The creation of the COTECI and of the National Centre for Science Communication is an example of institution-building innovation, that PUENTES is proud to underscore in our current issue.
The birth of these two institutions constitutes an innovative experience in the social sciences. In this field, Mexico and the Netherlands once again coincide.
On this number, PUENTES also shares the details of an innovation in the legal field: the unprecedented lawsuit that Mexico has filed in a U.S. court against eleven firearms manufacturers is both imaginative and unprecedented.
As various legal scholars have repeatedly stated, this is undoubtedly a historic lawsuit.
Mexico has accused these gun manufacturer firms of knowingly promoting illicit trafficking and actively facilitating the flow of weapons to organized crime on Mexican territory.
Therefore, the government of Mexico demands, through United States domestic legal channels, that the firearms manufacturers in the US be held accountable for their responsibility in bringing about the negative effects of this illicit trade.
In addition, the defence and promotion of human rights are placed at the core: paying attention to violations of the right to life and to physical integrity, of those killed with trafficked firearms.
With this issue, PUENTES starts its second year of life.
I am pleased that we were also able to include two interesting articles on cancer care in Mexico and the Netherlands in this edition. The convergence between health and innovation constitutes a window of opportunity to continue strengthening cooperation between our nations.
Likewise, a look at the promising growth of the aeronautical hub that is developing in the state Mexican of Querétaro, demonstrates our country´s capacity to establish development hubs in vital areas for science, technology and innovation in our time.
At the same time, the largest polluter in the Netherlands announced it has made progress towards environmental sustainability by building capacity to produce steel with hydrogen. This is equally encouraging in the face of the challenges we face today.
Thus, at the beginning of this second year of publication, PUENTES reaffirms its commitment to the great possibilities that complementary, circular, and sustainable cooperation opens up for both Mexico and the Netherlands.
At the same time, PUENTES reaffirms its commitment to become a space where dialogue between society and science, innovation and technology, is strengthened and multiplied.