UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Anzures, Tonatiuh

anzures 2013

Contact: tonatiuh.anzures.11@ucl.ac.uk

About me

I am currently in the third year of my PhD, which focuses on the brain drain debate, its relation to education and science policies in Mexico, and the new policy approaches to skilled migration in the world. Before starting my doctoral research I studied at Mexico, where I received a Bachelors Degree (BSc) in Political Science and Public Administration at the Iberoamerican University (UIA) and a postgraduate Diploma in Education Policy and Administration, as well as a Master’s degree (MSc) in Comparative Public Policy at the Latin American Social Science Faculty (FLACSO).

Currently, I work part-time as the Project Administrator for the CONSIDER project (Civil society OrgaNisationS In Designing rEsearch goveRnance) funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). I also work as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant of Dr. Jack Stilgoe in the Module HPSC1004 ‘Science Policy’, an introduction to social and political thinking about the role of science and technology in society and the relationship between science and government.

In Mexico, I worked at the Ministry of Education (SEP) from 2006 to 2011. First, at the Office of Tertiary Education for Teachers Professionalisation (DGESPE) as an advisor to the Director General, and later on at the Free Textbooks Commission (Conaliteg) as the Executive Assistant to the Director General. The Textbooks programme is one of the most relevant education policies of Mexico: By Constitutional Law, every year the government produces and delivers around 190 million books, for the more than 25 million students enrolled in primary education!

Doctoral research

My doctoral research analyses the current debate on scientific migration and the brain drain from a diverse range of historical, political, social and economic factors. It relies on the concerns and views on the phenomenon by governments, academics, international institutions, media and society throughout the last five decades, and is heavily policy-oriented. Local contexts, globalisation, the increasing flexibleness of work and the competition for economic growth and the acquisition of power through science, technology and advanced research are highlighted as essential factors that shape the brain drain, and altogether portray highly-skilled migration as a phenomenon that is here to stay.

Among other topics, my research addresses the general social and economic conditions in the sending countries, the context and interests of the receiving countries –expressed mainly in their immigration policies— and, above all, the notion of migration flows as a changing set of individual decisions, taken by scientists, professionals and other skilled workers. These are indeed complex factors that may help to explain the low effectiveness of the policies outlined towards the phenomenon in the last decades and reinforces the need for more specialised diaspora options through the development of networks, which many countries are currently promoting.

Based primarily in the case of Mexico, the main goal of my research is to draw some ideas and specific policy suggestions to understand –and face– the phenomenon in better conditions for the forthcoming years, based on a comparative policy approach and supported by a qualitative analysis, which consists on interviews to different Mexican civil servants working on the science, technology, education or foreign affairs fields, as well as to Mexican scientists and engineers working and living abroad.

Other research interests:

- Analysis and evaluation of education and science policies.

- Current trends on science and technology-related topics, such as knowledge transfer, scientific networks and capacity building.

- Science and technology from the political perspective, as a means for the acquisition of power.

- Education, science and technology and its different associations with economic development.

Recent and forthcoming presentations

- "Science, technology and skilled migration in Mexico: Is development at reach?” 4th April, 2014. Society for Latin American Studies Annual conference (SLAS 2014). Birkbeck University, UK.

- “Thinking of scientists as football players: some ideas for the diaspora policy of Mexico”. July 2013. XI Symposium of Mexican Students and Studies: Mexican science, as big as the challenge? University of Sheffield, UK.

- Scientific migration and the football market: a policy approach”. 22 May, 2013. Department of Science and Technology Studies Research Day. University College London, UK.

- “Logros y retos del libro de texto gratuito en México” [Achievements and challenges of the Textbook programme in Mexico]. 17 August, 2011. Facultad de Estudios Superiores (FES) Acatlán, Mexico.


- “Science’s transfer market”. Blogpost in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2014/jan/30/sciences-transfer-market

- ANZURES, Tonatiuh, 2011. “El libro de texto gratuito en la actualidad: logros y retos de un programa cincuentenario". Revista Mexicana de Investigación Educativa. XVI-49. [“The Mexican textbooks at present: achievements and challenges of a programme on its fiftieth anniversary”. The Mexican Journal for Education Research. XVI-49]. URL: http://www.comie.org.mx/v1/revista/portal.php?idm=es&sec=SC03&sub=SBA&criterio=AUT49001

Other activities

- Member of the Mexican Talent Network (Red de Talentos Mexicanos) UK Chapter.

- Treasurer and co-founder of the UCL Mexican Society.