Original Student Letter sent to Nature

March 12th of 2010
San Luis Potosi, S. L. P., Mexico

Dear Rex Dalton,

We have read your article “Outcry over scientists’ dismissal” (Nature 464, 148–149; 2010) and we would like to inform you about some events that have taken place since the termination of the employment of Prof. Humberto Terrones and Prof. Mauricio Terrones.

During our communications with IPICyT’s General Director (Dr. David Ríos Jara), the Academic Secretary (Dr. Marcial Bonilla Marín) and the Advanced Materials Division Chief (Dr. Miguel A. Vidal Borbolla) they informed us that we would receive their complete support in order to continue and complete our thesis project and dissertations, however this has not been completely satisfied.

During a meeting held in January with the academic authorities of IPICyT, it was agreed that we could choose our internal and external advisors freely no matter who they might be. However, due to the current legal situation they will not be able to be present at our Institute for any advisory and they cannot be present for the final dissertations of the senior students. Nevertheless, on March 12th we were notified unofficially by an External Evaluating Committee (EEC), formed by international and national recognized researchers, about the negative to recognize any academic relationship among the students with Mauricio Terrones and/or Humberto Terrones, arguing legal issues which are not related with our academic formation. This will affect directly our thesis projects.

As a result of this meeting we find that our given options are two. One of them is to stay at IPICyT but to cease academic relations with the Terrones brothers, or to continue our research and academic studies at any other Institute. We believe that none of the options solve satisfactory our main problem. We feel that all the lived irregularities against us are exhausting to handle throughout several years.

We really appreciate all the support offered by the national and international scientific community. We want to emphasize that the discredit of the authorities of our institute is not our intention. It is our desire to express our concern about the way in which the authorities are proceeding with this situation, and how political and legal problems would impact our academic development.

Best regards,

Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (IPICYT),
Camino a la Presa San José 2055, Col. Lomas 4a. Secc. SLP,
CP78216, México

Students caught up in legal impasse at Mexican institute

Aarón Morelos Gómez1, Eduardo Gracia Espino1 & Juan Carlos García Gallegos1

1. students of the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Group, IPICYT, Camino a la Presa San José 2055, Col. Lomas 4a. Secc. SLP, CP78216, México
Email: estudiantesnyn@gmail.com
2. A full list of signatories to this letter is available as supplementary information at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7291/suppinfo/464977b.html

As graduate students from the nanoscience and nanotechnology group of the Institute for Scientific and Technological Research of San Luis Potosí (IPICYT), we wish to update you on events affecting us since the departure of Humberto and Mauricio Terrones (Nature 464, 148–149; 2010).

We have no wish to discredit the authorities of our institute, but we are concerned about the way in which they are handling our situation. It is evident that political and legal problems are interrupting our academic development.

The academic authorities at IPICYT have assured us that we would receive their complete support, so that we could continue with our thesis projects and dissertations. Most of our laboratory requirements have been met, and the authorities have agreed that we could choose our own advisers, whether from inside the institute or outside — including the Terrones professors.

However, the current legal situation means that, if we did choose Humberto or Mauricio Terrones, they would be unable to supervise or examine us on IPICYT premises. And it is not clear whether the IPICYT authorities would actually recognize academic connections between students and the Terrones professors.

In that case, we would need either to remain at the institute and terminate academic relations with the Terrones, or to continue our research and academic studies elsewhere. Neither option, however, would enable us to complete our thesis projects satisfactorily.

Fuente: Nature 464, 977-977 (14 April 2010) doi:10.1038/464977b Correspondence