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Scientists in Chile have welcomed last week’s decision by Congress to create a science ministry. Many researchers hope that a dedicated ministry will give science more prominence and better-coordinated policies—provided the ministry’s budget matches the government’s ambitions to “bring Chile towards an information and knowledge society,” as Gonzalo Blumel, the country’s minister secretary-general of the presidency, put it in a statement issued after the 31 May vote.

According to Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic are the only Latin American countries with science ministries. Fernando Valiente Echeverría, an HIV researcher at the University of Chile in Santiago, says he hopes other countries in the region will be inspired to follow suit.

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