Exhaustible natural-resources, STI and the loot: How the royalties’ policy reform affects the socio-technical practices
Department Science, Technolgoy and Politicy Studies (STePS), Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, Twente University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisors: Prof. Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordoñez-Matamoros
MS.c. of interdisciplinary development studies and graduated as B.S in anthropology and minor in law and social sciences. Eight-year-experience in research, planning development and knowledge management. Research interests and knowledge on artifacts and urban movements; social studies of science, technology and development; extractivism, rural development and environment; social appropriation of knowledge, modernity/coloniality/decoloniality project and social construction of technology.
MA-thesis: Sustainable and responsible gold-mining in Colombia: The technologies of extractivism.
The reform of the General Royalties System (GRS) in Colombia promoted a structural change in the National Science, Technology and Innovation System (NSTIS). For developing exploration and exploitation activities in Colombia, extractive industries pay the State a financial compensation in the form of royalties. Since 2010, 10% of them have been allocated to fund science, technology and innovation (STI). Underlying this policy there is the idea of sustainable development, understood as an optimal consumption path that transforms natural resources into constructed capital or intangible capital as a way to achieve genuine savings in the wealth of the country. It is possible, then, that the dependency relationship between the extractive industry and the NSTIS affects the variety of socio-technical systems associated with the development of STI.
In practical terms, this reform has brought some modifications in how public resources are accessed; in the mechanisms for evaluating proposed R&D projects; in research priorities for academics, technologists and scientists; also changes in the focus, politics and design of projects; and especially in the way the socio-technical alliances are set to embark on STI, which represents a problematic dependence course between the development of STI and the yields of the exhaustible natural resources in the country. My research is motivated by the question of how the royalties’ policy reform affects the socio-technical practices of the actors who carry out STI in the regions where extractive industries are operating, and what are the consequences of this major transformation in the STI policy landscape in Colombia. On the other hand, I would explore the role and the positon of people engaged in the conduction of STI by other means, actors who are concentrated in sociotechnical practices which could help solve structural problems in society, contributing to overcome social exclusion and the construction of a deep democracy, to promote sustainable development in a non-mainstream way, and even pose alternatives to the sustainable/extractive development model in Colombia.
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