On repeated occasions, Lino Barañao, Minister of Science of Argentina, questioned the pertinence of human and social sciences.

On February 25th, he gave a supplementary step in statements published by Noticias, a magazine in Buenos Aires.

The Minister proposes to eliminate the funding provided by the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Conicet) to medieval studies.

He argues that they do not respond to the needs of the country: the Middle Ages would be oblivious to Argentina’s history and, therefore, it would be a superfluous activity.

In doing so, he attacks the school of Argentinian medievalists in which figures such as Claudio Sánchez Albornoz and José Luis Romero have shone, school which continues today producing research on history, literature and philosophy published by journals and academic publishers in the country and abroad.

Barañao is calling to ignore ten centuries of history promoting the provincialization and the impoverishment of intellectual life in our country.

It seems that the goal is to prevent us to know the genesis of our own history and those legacies without which history is not understood, as if we should play at a scientific level the economic, social, and political worldwide division between those who know and are able, and those who must not know or be empowered.

Let’s add that if this initiative were fulfilled many colleagues would be out of work for the mere reason that universities would not be able to home them. Disappointment would lead to desertification of chairs and of teams dedicated to Ancient or Medieval history and –possibly– to Modern and Contemporary history, were they not related to Argentinean history.

It will so produce a hardly repairable damage in the culture of our country.

We ask therefore for the support of the Argentinean and international scientific community, of historians and in particular of medievalists around the world to stop the offensive against the human and social sciences in general and against medieval studies in Argentina in particular.
To join the petition, please click at:

Proyectan eliminar los estudios medievales/ Intended elimination of medieval studies/Projet d’élimination des études médiévales


For the reaction of Argentinian scholars, please see the article (in Spanish) written by Prof. Dr. Astarita, head of Medieval History at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and Universidad Nacional de la Plata, and a researcher at CONICET at: