Argentina's President Javier Milei gestures while delivering his first policy speech to parliament during the inauguration of the 142nd ordinary session of Congress in Buenos Aires on March 1, 2024.

Sixty-eight Nobel science laureates urged Argentina's self-professed "anarcho-capitalist" President Javier Milei Wednesday to restore budgets for science and technology that have been cut under his drive to slash public spending.

In an addressed to Milei, the scientists expressed concern at the recent elimination of the ministry of science and and the dismissal of employees of scientific institutes.

"We watch as the Argentine system of science and technology approaches a dangerous precipice, and despair at the consequences that this situation could have for both the Argentine people and the world," they said.

The libertarian Milei has been on a mission to slash state spending, deregulate the economy and shut down government-funded organizations after years of budgetary and inflation crises in the South American country.

Since he took office in December, the government under Milei kept the 2024 budget for the national Conicet research institute unchanged from last year. Given annual inflation of over 250 percent, it was effectively left insolvent.

"Freezing research programs and decreasing the number of graduate trainees and young investigators will cause the destruction of a system that took many years to build, and that would take many, many more to rebuild," the scientists wrote.

"Devaluing and/or canceling Argentinian science now would be a grave mistake."

"We fear that Argentina is giving up on its scientists and its students of science," said the letter, also highlighting many of Argentina's contributions to research into diseases, physics, and other fields.