Nobel laureates ask Mexican authorities for the CIDE community to be heard

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, Nobel Prize in Literature, and James Heckman, Nobel Prize in Economics, signed a letter in which they asked the Mexican authorities to listen to the academic community of the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE), an institution that is in crisis due to the decision of María Elena Álvarez-Buylla to appoint José Antonio Romero Tellaeche, who has excelled in removing academics from their administrative positions “unilaterally”.

“The free search for knowledge is the essence of universities and institutions of higher education. It is also essential for democracy and economic prosperity. Without academic freedom, societies cannot develop the tools they need to solve their problems and improve their conditions. Governments should subsidize and facilitate, but not control, for political purposes, high-quality education and academic production. It is crucial that governments promote free and open discussions of competing ideas. With this in mind, we hope that the conflict around the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico, a public university with prestige around the world, will find a good resolution. The CIDE academic community must have a place at the table and be heard by the authorities, ”the letter reads.

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The letter was signed by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, Nobel Prize in Literature (2008); James Heckman, from the University of Chicago and Nobel Laureate in Economics (2000); Jon Elster, “Robert K. Merton Professor” of Social Sciences, Columbia University, New York, and Marc Fleurbaey, Research Director of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Since November 29, the CIDE has been taken over by the student community, as María Elena Álvarez-Buylla, director of the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt), decided to ratify José Antonio Romero Tellaeche as director of that Public Research Center, despite criticism for having dismissed academics from administrative positions while he was acting as director.

It was in August when the Conacyt appointed Romero Tellaeche as interim director of the CIDE, and since then, he stood out for having dismissed Dr. Catherine Andrews from the Academic Secretariat, who refused to suspend the Academic Dictating Commissions (CADIs) because they were already scheduled. weeks in advance as stated in the regulation.

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However, Romero Tellaeche described Andrews’s action as “an act of rebellion.” He also dismissed Alejandro Madrazo Lajous, from the CIDE leadership in the central Aguascalientes headquarters region, for “loss of confidence,” after the investigator criticized the current administration.


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Nobel laureates ask Mexican authorities for the CIDE community to be heard