Science, social mobility and education

November 26, 2021 – 01:45
To Dr. Michael Gebinoga, who in Germany and among Nobles continues to honor scientific research.

Although the most important award of the Argentine Chemical Association is the “Dr. JJJKyle Award”, Chemist’s Day commemorates the approval of the doctoral thesis of the first graduate in Chemistry in Argentina, Dr. Enrique Herrero Ducloux, who, born in Navarra and nationalized Argentine, he attended school in Santa Fe and university at the Faculty of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of the UBA and defended his thesis on November 26, 1901, hence the anniversary.

The Kyle Prize owes its origin to Blacksmith Ducloux himself, to whom, upon his retirement, the Chemical Association announced a banquet to celebrate his life and achievements, an offer that he declined and suggested that the money be used to institute an award in honor of him. Scottish JJJ Kyle, his former professor who had consolidated the training of future chemists in the country, a suggestion that was accepted.

One Spanish, the other Scottish, both immigrants and experts in sacrifices (never enough) in pursuit of education and social progress, the spirit of his time can perhaps be reflected in “M’hijo el dotor”, a work where the conflicts exposed – As virulent and real as they were, they neither conceal nor obscure the perhaps best legacy of the Generation of 80 in Argentina: social mobility based on merit anchored in education as a guarantee of a better life and the expectation of progress. boundless that ignorance was in charge of burying, without remedying the pending problems that had arisen or remained but eradicating the future, leveling down, promoting demerit, the drain of talents and canceling hope. Destroy the middle class, ultimately.

The power of education deserves universal recognition. When Isocrates languished before the convulsions of his native Athens in a Greece besieged by the Persians and weakened by the disputes between city-states, he resolved to enter public life to restore greatness to Athens “with the privileged element of the education “through culture and trying to unite the Greeks to face the common enemy. He did it through the dissemination of writings and the discussion of ideas, work that “today would be known as the promotion of the exchange of opinions, then creating the public sphere. What Isocrates did to get his city out of prostration was to show the contrast between the great democracy of Solon and Cleisthenes and the parody of democracy that he had before his eyes “. Freedom in general and freedom of expression in particular owe a lot to Isocrates and the English who rescued it and put it in value many centuries later.

Argentine education must bow to the great conquests (railways, telegraphs, museums) and thank the titanic struggle that Domingo Faustino Sarmiento fought from his various positions, despite his volcanic temperament and political inaccuracies. For Sarmiento, the public school was the architect of the future of a town: “man, town, nation, state, everything: everything is in the humble benches of the school.” And he added “in the postponed rural school, with its humble but dignified infrastructure, the homeland is also there.”

Who would not agree with him if the barbarism of which he spoke could overcome the incorrectness of prejudice and ended up being the absence of law, irreverent caudillismo, tyrannical feudalism, the trampling of rights, the inaction of officials, the intolerance of the sectarians and the reduction of the citizen to the baseness of political patronage?

Product of that proud and respected by the whole world Argentine public education of the first half of the 20th century was Luis Federico Leloir, doctor, biochemist and pharmacist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1970. Leloir (in addition to inventing the golf sauce that He never patented and regretted not having done it just because he would have allocated that income to research) he graduated in Argentina, worked in England and the US and returned to the country to work with his mentor, friend, thesis supervisor and also Nobel Prize winner Dr. Bernardo Houssay, who proposed that he be director of the Campomar Foundation Biochemical Research Institute. He accepted, directed it for 40 years and, despite the precariousness of resources, lack of interest in research and lack of funding, there he carried out the research that earned him the Nobel for “clarifying how sugars are metabolized in the body and the mechanism of glycogen and starch biosynthesis, polysaccharides from the energy reserve of mammals and plants “(scientists will understand) by donating more than once part of his prizes to the Institute that he directed for not stopping and sustaining scientific research.

Austere, discreet, of Spartan customs, educated in sobriety, polyglot and of an exquisite conversation, he was a true aristocrat, which is a real compliment if the etymology is respected and they stop posing as aristocrats who really are not and, At least for once, resentment and impostation are put aside.

Because the aristocracy was the government of the best, and was opposed to the monarchy that was the “government of one”; This is true both for “The State is me” and for the DNU signature left and right, with the complicity of those who should denounce and stop the abuses and, in its place, ignore themselves. But he was also opposed to the oligarchy, which is the government of a few: hence so many “baradeles” taking hostage schools, mortgaging the future of children, or “moyanos” cutting routes and besieging companies that conspire against their own employees without anyone. ensure the right to education or the right to move and work. And that is the key to your government! And in the same way he opposed demagoguery, which was the tyranny of the majority beyond its legitimate powers, contradicting the nature of education which, for Sarmiento, was what allowed a man to be free. Nothing more. Nothing less.

We would love to say thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding material

Science, social mobility and education