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  • Manifiesto



We have met in Burgos to attend the XII National Congress of Virology, organized by the Spanish Society for Virology. Within two years, we should be sharing our XIII Congress. Or, at least, this is the wish of all of us. Whether or not this wish is accomplished depends largely on the policy of the current Spanish government. The Science Act (Law 14/2011) was approved two years ago, but it has not been implemented yet. The Research Agency that was promoted by such a Law, two of whose objectives were to ensure a stable financial framework for our science and to facilitate the internationalization of our groups, is failing before commissioning. The scientific system is losing a full annuity as a result of the delay in the funding of projects granted in 2012, and the postponing of the subsequent annual call, due by now. Analogous delays affect the calls for scientific staff, including permanent and temporary contracts, as well as for technical staff. Moreover, financial support for the organization of scientific meetings was discontinued two years ago. Internationalization of our science is also hampered for the reason that the Spanish government does not comply with the fees that would allow us to participate in European calls and large international facilities. Under these conditions, can we ensure the continuity of our research teams and our projects? How can a system that is neither renewed nor financed survive? Can Spanish science be competitive?


Scientific activity is necessary both to increase our knowledge and to impact positively on the economic and social development of any country. Thus, those countries with a strong Science and Technology system do not suffer the current crisis in the same way as we do. The Spanish productive model is in need of a deep change, as it is increasingly recognized inside and outside our borders. In fact, national and international organizations, recently echoed through an editorial in Nature journal, have urged our government to increase investment in science as an unavoidable measure to overcome this crisis, as well as to better face the upcoming ones. In 1632, the Spanish playwright and poet Lope de Vega wrote, “Actions speak louder than words” in his work La Dorotea. Our leaders would show little care and respect for the Spanish society if the “actions” they undertake for promoting R&D&I are those we experience today. Their “actions” will either grant or deny future generations the required change. This is our leaders’ responsibility.


Spanish Society for Virology and Organizing Committee of the XII Spanish National Congress of Virology