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Jakarta Post

Jokowi vs. the scientists

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Wed, April 8 2020   /  01:22 am

Many would argue that – regardless of his moral and political choices – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is a man of action. But few, even among his voters, would say the former furniture businessman was a man of science.

Since taking over national leadership in 2014, Jokowi has put science on the back burner. Throughout his presidency, he has focused instead on turning Indonesia into a robust economic engine, allocating a significant portion national resources toward strategic programs designed to boost the economy.

The President cares about science, too, but only applied science, which tends to have a much larger impact on the economy. Schools and universities have been redesigned to function as human factories to produce “skilled workers”. Pure science? That’s a whole different story.

In recent years, some scientists have complained about what they per...