Researchers and doctoral students from Fundación Ciencia & Vida take to the streets in support of Chilean scientists’ demands for the improvement of science conditions in Chile

November 18, 2015

“Our governments have chosen ignorance” states an open letter recently published by two of the main Chilean newspapers El Mercurio and La Tercera. The letter was signed by more than a thousand of Chilean scientists, including National Science Awardees, Presidents of Educational and Scientific Societies, and Directors of Centers of Excellence.

The letter denounces the difficulty of doing science in Chile, the low amount of funding, the delicate situation of science institutions and the lack of opportunities for younger scientists. The government has “ignored the voice” of scientists in Chile and abroad, and its decisions “will plunge the country into ignorance and poverty”, the letter says. Its signatories demand the government to create a Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and to promote science as part of the national culture.

The demonstrations erupted on October 29, following the resignation of Francisco Brieva, President of the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT), becoming the third president in the last 4 years. Days after, on November 12th, about 2500 researchers, technicians and students took to the streets to protest against low research spending, frail science institutions and poor career prospects, and marched to La Moneda to deliver the letter expressing their “desolation”.

The frustrated national scientists hope that the government finally understands the essential role that science should play in society and its importance in the development of every country.

Carta

Chilean researchers, technicians and students in front of La Moneda protesting against the poor science conditions in our country.