Global research funding. Source: Dossier – Programa de Formación de Capital Humano Avanzado: Eternos Problemas y Desafíos Actuales

More than 50% of the countries of the world possess some kind of Ministry of Science (red), some have no Ministry although do have Ministers (pink), others, including Chile have neither a Ministry nor Minister (blue).

 In a recently published article in the highly respected academic journal Science a group of Chilean scientists has issued a warning that the country may be falling behind others in their planning and spending for research. The authors, lead by Pablo Astudillo of the pressure group mascienciaparachile (more science for Chile) made a call for improved bureaucratic administration, more political will and funding for Chilean researchers.

The letter Chile’s Research Planning Falls Short details a number of potentially fundamental fissures in the Chilean system than could severely undermine the good growth and development that Chile has enjoyed over recent years. For example, although Chile has recently (2010) joined the club of developed countries (OECD) whose members account for approximately 80% of world trade and investment, there is currently no Ministry for Science in the country, which is in contrast to neighbouring Argentina and Brazil. Peru, which by most standards has a weaker economy than Chile, is also said to be tabling the idea of a new Ministry of Science and Technology.

A major concern is that research spending has been relatively poor in Chile, nearly 10 times less than the OECD average of per capita investment.

 

Research funding by country

Source: Dossier – Programa de Formación de Capital Humano Avanzado: Eternos Problemas y Desafíos Actuales

 Note: PIB = producto interno bruto = GDP = gross domestic product

You can read the letter published in Science here. The Chilean science group, mascieciaparachile formed in 2010, following the model of the Save British Science campaign founded in 1986.

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