Cosuelo Guerri was one of the most renowned faces present at the demonstration in favour of science held in Valencia last week. Used to work with pre-doctoral fellows in her laboratory, the researcher has been a witness this year to the tragedy many young scientists are living nowadays. These scientists have had their allowances reduced to minimums or have been directly suppressed. She has also survived the RIF (reduction-in-force) carried out by the research centre, which has dismissed 40% of the employees and has suppressed 14 research lines.
What do you think of the Spanish young scientists that are migrating given the current situation?
I think it is terrible. Our own resources are being wasted. And this situation not only affects the youth— every scientist’s situation is awful. Research projects and grants are being severely cut. In addition, the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) is planning a RIF, which is something unprecedented in Europe.
What would you say to Mariano Rajoy and his government team were you face to face with them?
A country without research and innovation is doomed. A year ago I said that we could be considered the north of Africa, not Europe. Investments in budgets and grants have been made for years, and now they are useless due to the current cutbacks. That’s a catastrophe.
Is science the only way to get out of this crisis?
Yes, I am sure about that. We need innovation in all areas. Since we can access fewer resources, we have to think up alternative procedures for our development. If we don’t, there’ll be no way out.
Laura Garsando. Student of Journalism at the University of Valencia.
© Mètode 2012.
«Our own resources— our young scientists— are being wasted. And this situation not only affects the youth— every scientist’s situation is awful»