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Salud Pública de México

versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634

Resumen

PEREZ-TAMAYO, Ruy. Basic science and applied science. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2001, vol.43, n.4, pp. 368-372. ISSN 0036-3634.

A lecture was presented by the author at the Democratic Opinion Forum on Health Teaching and Research, organized by Mexico´s National Health Institutes Coordinating Office, at National Cardiology Institute "Ignacio Chavez", where he presented a critical review of the conventional classification of basic and applied science, as well as his personal view on health science teaching and research. According to the author, "well-conducted science" is that "generating reality-checked knowledge" and "mis-conducted science" is that "unproductive or producing 'just lies' and 'non-fundable'. To support his views, the author reviews utilitarian and pejorative definitions of science, as well as those of committed and pure science, useful and useless science, and practical and esoterical science, as synonyms of applied and basic science. He also asserts that, in Mexico, "this classification has been used in the past to justify federal funding cutbacks to basic science, allegedly because it is not targeted at solving 'national problems' or because it was not relevant to priorities set in a given six-year political administration period". Regarding health education and research, the author asserts that the current academic programs are inefficient and ineffective; his proposal to tackle these problems is to carry out a solid scientific study, conducted by a multidisciplinary team of experts, "to design the scientific researcher curricula from recruitment of intelligent young people to retirement or death". Performance assessment of researchers would not be restricted to publication of papers, since "the quality of scientific work and contribution to the development of science is not reflected by the number of published papers". The English version of this paper is available at: http://www.insp.mx/salud/index.html

Palabras llave : science; technology; teaching; research; Mexico.

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