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Limits, Frontiers, and Challenges

We pointed to the development ofinternational science and the inequalities that are relative to territories, Global South versus Global North, questions relative to the inequalities among the fields and areas of knowledge in what concerns the production of knowledge in networks and coauthorships. We pointed out the possible international division of labor. We emphasized the growing needs of clarifying and limiting one’s own scientific field and overcoming the precariousness that hinders the professionalized development of scientist-educators. We could provide answers to the challenges in the production of a science that increasingly internationalizes itself. Perhaps the precariousness and limits could evolve into new possibilities, given the canons, without any loss of national identities. In order to do so, we must recognize that while evaluation policies are dominated by the drive for excellence, research agendas are swayed toward international competition, diverting attention from local problems. We must also bear in mind that the great indexing databases do not provide equitable coverage of disciplines and regions, and using them as the sole source to create maps for scientific development would yield faulty representations of the publishing reality of many regions in the world (Vessuri et al., 2013).

It is important to think that the scientific-social inequalities, asymmetries, and precariousness are multifaceted. One of them is situated in the wealth of knowledge and is far too important to be enjoyed only by a few privileged ones. Addressing this issue is in the interest of everyone and not just of those more equal among equals, or those more equal among the nonequals. The challenge is set by Piketty:

The historical experience suggests that the main mechanism that allows for the convergence between countries is the diffusion of knowledge, both in the international and the domestic scope. In other words, the poorest economies shorten the delay in relation to the richest in proportion to how they can reach the same level of technological knowledge, of qualification and labor, Education and, not by becoming the property of the richest. This process of diffusion of knowledge does not fall from the sky.... (Piketty, 2014, p. 75, our emphasis)

This is the challenge of the future: to meet outcomes, avoiding the precariousness that ejects researchers from the centers of decision and paths of production and expansion of knowledge. These outputs certainly do not fall from the sky! Ifan area ofknowledge criticizes the domination to which it is submitted, it must also expand its gaze beyond its own tight shoes and consider that it is imperative to cast out its knowledge, to put up with the work that is necessary on the conveyor belt of other areas of knowledge, and internationalize its production without fearing criticism and without losing its links with the national problems and realities. And if emerging countries’ researchers are to do so in the more developed nations’ direction as they do with the authors that they cite in their works, then they do so in the Global South-South, the Global West-East, and the Global South- North direction as well. After all, the challenge that is truly meritorious concerns the dissemination of knowledge, which reduces delay and inequality and increases the convergence between peoples.4

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