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November 20th, 2007
Argentina will establish its first Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, the newly-elected government announced last week (14 November).
President-elect Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who will assume power in December, has appointed molecular biologist Lino Barañao as minister of science in her new cabinet.
Barañao is a researcher at Argentina's National Council of Science and Technology (CONICET), and the current president of the National Agency of Science Promotion.
The announcement marks a major shift for science in Argentina. Science was undervalued in the 1990s, with scientists experiencing poor pay and working conditions. Science was not seen as central to development strategy by the government of the time.
Barañao told SciDev.Net that the creation of the ministry "indicates a new valuation of science".
He said the ministry's main aim will be the implementation of science and technology for economic development, with particular focus on information technology software, biotechnology and nanotechnology.
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