In DepthResearch Policy

‘Superagency’ may further politicize Indonesian research

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Science  30 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6541, pp. 449
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6541.449

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Summary

Indonesia has dismantled its Ministry of Research and Technology and has created a new Agency for National Research and Innovation (BRIN), a move that some scientists worry will strengthen political control over research in a country where academic freedom is already under pressure and politics have taken an authoritarian turn. BRIN seems set to have broad powers to fund, execute, and control research in the country. It was conceived within the political party of President Joko Widodo, whose leader, former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, has warned against foreign interference in research. Political influence on research is already growing in the country, scientists say—yet with huge challenges facing the country, Indonesia needs solid science more than ever.

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