Pedro Duque says he will quit government “when it looks like they are going to cut budgets” in Science

Publication: Sunday, May 2, 2021 1:04 PM

“I see that I am supported and just when it looks like the budgets are going to go down, I will go straight that day and it’s over.” Así se ha pronunciado Pedro Duque a preguntas de ‘ABC’ sobre su papel al frente del Ministerio de Ciencia, en una entrevista en la que el ministro y exastronauta afirma que el legado que le gustaría dejar de su paso por la política es el Pacto por Science.

“I would like to see that it continues to apply when I am already retired,” said Duque, who estimates that he will have “time to see that in 2030 we will reach 3% investment in R & D & I ”.

Regarding the Pact for Science, Duque defended his proposal as “a path that converges with the objectives of the European Union”. “This would place us in 2024 at 2% of GDP between public and private and in 2030 at 3% of GDP,” he added.

In this sense, the Minister valued the “50 million euros which were already increased last year and which will continue” and the increase of “60% of the budget”. “Now we already have more budget for science and innovation than the year there was more in history, which is 2009,” he said.

According to him, “if we continued at this pace, we would reach the target set by Europe much earlier”. However, he admits that after the “first push” that the European stimulus funds have assumed, “one cannot necessarily think that it will be at such a speed in the years to come”.

However, Duque defended that “the pact must continue the path” which does not depend on who governs: “When I leave, when the next comes, from the next ruling party, let’s continue with this path upwards, because this is not a question which can depend on the parts. The chances of our children depend on it “, he condemned.

To questions on the new scientific law, the head of the branch anticipated “a fairly significant reform of human resources policies and scientific careers”.

Asked whether, with more funding, there would already be Spanish coronavirus vaccines, Duque hopes the vaccines some Spanish scientists are working in will be “the first of their kind,” although he has indicated that if he there had been more funding between 2009 and 2018, we would have had “a better basis” to develop them.

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