Conflict at IPICYT in 2010


We present the most relevant facts about the problem in 2010

January 5. Dr. David Ríos sends an e-mail announcing the decision of firing Professors Mauricio and Humberto Terrones. They have not been notified personally of such decision.

January 6. First day of activities at IPICYT after winter vacations.

1.- Two additional security guards now present at the entrance of IPICYT.

2.- Professors Humberto and Mauricio Terrones try to enter IPICYT, but their entrance is denied by policemen at the gate.

3.- N&N PhD students send a letter to national and international scientific community, communicating recent facts that have altered the functioning of the N&N group.


January 21. The additional security guards at the entrance of the two buildings are removed.

1.- Dr. Rios tries to please the students by promising they can choose freely their advisors and promises to leave all labs and equipment operational.

2.- The students are asked to retract their complains and write a follow up letter saying that everything is fine now.

3.- The students of N&N send a second letter to the scientific community.

4.- Meeting of the AMD with Dr. Rios. He says that the past is done, and that new rules would apply from now on. Dr. Miguel Avalos returns and is appointed head of LINAN. The remaining N&N professors are told that they have to stop taking graduate students, and must steer new students to chose other advisors.

5.- Dr. Rios states that the prior agreements to separate the faculty for each program, together with all other agreements made last year, are no longer valid.


March 11.
1.- News in Nature Vol 464, 148 (2010), “Outcry over scientists’ dismissal” is published, by Rex Dalton.

2.- Correspondence in Nature Vol 464, 160 (2010), “Science and Mexico are the losers in institute politics” is published. Here Prof. Harold W. Kroto, Prof. Pulikel M. Ajayan, Prof. Anthony K. Cheetham, Prof. Mildred S. Dresselhaus, Prof. Morinobu Endo, Prof. Alan L. Mackay and Prof. Ljubisa R. Radovic; call on the world’s academic community to help reverse the damage currently being done at Mexico’s IPICYT. Hoping that President Felipe Calderón to step in and avert further damage.


March 11-12. The external evaluation committee pays a visit to IPICYT and talks with the N&N. Here they encourage the students to terminate their academic relation with the Terrones brothers, arguing that the legal issues do not allow them to continue any kind of relation what so ever with IPICYT.

April 15. Correspondence in Nature 464, 977 (2010), “Students caught up in legal impasse at Mexican institute” is published. The N&N students say that the political and legal problems are interrupting their academic development. The original letter sent to Narue.

May 5. A meeting between the N&N students, Dr. David Ríos, Dr. Marcial Bonilla and Dr. Miguell Angel Vidal was held to inform the following:

1.- The IPICYT´s governing body, it´s lawyers and the external evaluation committee forbid any relationship between the N&N students and the Terrones brothers. This meaning that:

a) The Institute will not recognize the author credits of the thesis which Dr. Mauricio Terrones Maldonado and Dr. Humberto Terrones Maldonado are directors or co-directors, suggesting to credit them in the “Acknowledgements” of the written thesis.

b) The Terrones cannot be part of the students examining jury, not being able to participate physically present nor by videoconference.

2.- IPICYT will not allow new students to be part of the N&N group.


August 6. Due to the arguments from the IPICYT authorities to deny any author credits (otherwise intellectual property) of the Terrones brothers on any of the thesis they have directed/co-directed, the N&N student Aarón Morelos Gómez found himself in the need to hire a lawyer to follow his dissertation process and ensure the proper intellectual property recognition on his thesis work. For this he sent a letter to the IPICYT authorities, with the support of his lawyer, stating that the given order to unrecognize the Terrones brothers in his thesis work does not have any legal grounds. In this sense he exhorted the IPICYT authorities to reconsider their decision

August 20. The N&N student Aarón Morelos Gómez successfully realizes his dissertation and his examination act says as follows:

[Tesis] que se desarrolló bajo la dirección de

Dr. Humberto Terrones Maldonado y el Dr. Mauricio Terrones Maldonado, ambos hasta el 17 de diciembre de 2009 y bajos su dirección externa a partir del 18 de diciembre de 2009....”

(English version)
[Thesis] that was developed under the direction of

Dr. Humberto Terrones Maldonado and Dr. Mauricio Terrones Maldonado, both until December 17th of 2009 and under their external direction starting December 18th of 2009.

August 27. Another student of N&N co-advised by Mauricio Terrones defends succesfully his thesis. The examination act is also required to state that Mauricio Terrones was a co-director until December 17th and external co-director from December 18th of 2009

September 21. The N&N students sent a letter to M. Sc. Silvia Alvarez Brunelieré, adjoint director of formation and development of scientists and technologist of CONACYT. In this letter they expose their decision to leave their studies from IPICYT and emigrate to another country to continue their doctoral studies

go to: 2008, 2009