MEXICO CITY—A recent decision by Mexico's federal government to boost R&D spending has failed to stem growing dissatisfaction in the scientific community here over the lack of public support for science and technology.

The government said last month it is diverting 5 billion pesos ($3.8 million) from other public programs to the National Science and Technology Research Council (CONACYT). Half of the supplemental funds are to be used for scientific research and half for technological development.

But reaction in the scientific community has been restrained. The new funds do little to close the gap between the $6 million budgeted this year for scientific and technological research projects managed by CONACYT and, for example, the $20 million budgeted in 1981, before Mexico's economy was buffeted by the devalued peso and the worldwide oil glut.

"A drop in the bucket," a CONACYT administrator scoffed. "The answer to science and technology development problems...

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