Scientific development to the W.C.

Scientific development to the W.C.

For quite some time now, since Chilean scientists have been making noise, but it seems that it is not enough.

During January we witnessed the largest scientific communication event in our country and, probably, in Latin America, theCongress of the future. Several authorities participated in its inauguration, including President Bachelet and President-elect Sebastián Piñera, as well as Chilean and international politicians and leading scientists. All the political speeches I heard were very hopeful, as they spoke of the importance of scientific work for our development and the relevance of the early creation of the Ministry of Science and Technology. In fact, President-elect Piñera announced that it would increase spending in the area. However, I do not think I have heard anything concrete about the crisis currently facing scientific development in our country.

What crisis?

As I listened to all this I, illusoryly, wondered:Iran to say something about national CONICYT fellows who on various occasions have encountered thatwere not deposited them their salaries to make ends meet by administrative problems?(salaries that are otherwise low)Will get any proposed solution for good part of professionals toworks without a contractand, therefore, without many rights and that, therefore, is it unthinkable for a bank to give them a credit to buy a home?I thought yes or yes was going to touch on the subject of the hundreds of doctors who are trained in Chile and abroad and that every year they see less chance of devoting themselves to research simply because those who devised the system did not consider the "detail" that all these inve stiers were going to need a place to work. Or at least mention something about thevery low absorption of doctors from the private world and the apparatus of the State. Nothing. By the way, last year I sat down and saw the presidential debate on Science and Technology with similar illusions and the scenario was not very different.

Seeing the new government's cabinet proposal, I can only fear that the head in charge of the new Ministry of Science and Technology will probably be someonequite far from the world of science (and of course a man). I hope I'm very wrong. I think such a decision will be like a bucket of cold water, a bombshell for the scientific community, which would only increase our growing frustration and disappointment in seeing how the tremendous potential that Chile has continues to sink year by year, because as a country we seem to understand progress as what generates money immediately and to some sectors.

As I mentioned in the beginning, for quite some time since scientists have been making noise. Some have echoed our demands personally, such as National Awards that, for their enormous trajectory and prestige, have a voice with enough weight to be heard, such as Cecilia Hidalgo, José Maza and María Teresa Ruiz, just to name a few Few. In recent years, a number of organizations of young scientists have also sprung up, seeking to join forces, for exampleScience with contract,More science to Chileor theNational Association of Postgraduate Researchers (ANIP). And this has not stayed there, Chilean scientists abroad are VERY, BUT VERY organized, and, in fact, they are so organized that there is even a network that brings together a lot of the networks that have been built in different countries around the world ,ReCh. I lived out for 6 years as a scientist and I must say that I was proudly watching the Chilean scientific community organize on various fronts. Very few countries have achieved such an organization and work locally and abroad.

However, so much organization, so much letter to the director, media interviews and various protests seems to have been in vain, or at least not strong enough to echo those who, at the end of the day, make the decisions.What have we failed to communicate our demands on?Why does it seem that we have not made ourselves heard as it should be among politicians? And worse,Why doesn't citizenship empathize with our demands?On this point,as we already discussed it, we may be communicating a lot with each other but we are not telling those who at the end of the day fund our research what we do with their money and how it impacts their day-to-day life.

In my close circle I don't know yet of colleagues who are driving UBER to survive, but I do know more from someone who for this 2018 just doesn't know if you'll have a job or not... I ask you to take a second to analyze and take the weight from what I just wrote.

incandescent 2

Here you may tell me, and quite rightly, that there is nothing unusual about this, there are many Chileans being left over and this depends in large part on the swings of the economy. However, here I challenge him with a hard data: last year theFirst survey of inclusion of researchers scientistsby the ANIP revealed that there were no less than around a12% cessation in our sector,about twice the national average.Follow. All rightly, you will also tell me that late doctors cannot be waiting to have privileges in society, assured work, just because you have decided to specialize in something (and of your own volition as no one is forced to do a doctorate). I completely agree. But in my opinion the problem is a little deeper than that. In the past decade,OECDmade the observation thatthe number of doctors per capita in Chile was much lower than the average of countries. After this, the State of Chile initiated a HUGE investment to increase what is known asAdvanced human capital, professionals of excellence who specialize through a postgraduate degree (i.e. magister or doctorate) and can contribute their unique expertise to the development of the country. This sounds great, but, as has happened with other public policies implemented in the fast, it was not considered very well that we say that we also had to invest in financing possibilities for the research that these experts would make and a place to once graduated and thus be able to insert and contribute to the development of the country (I shareaquía little note about why Chile needs so many doctors).

To illustrate the gravity of what I tell you, I'm going to give you two facts: a good part of my generation colleagues (Biochemistry UCHILE, generation 2002) is working abroad simply because they don't see opportunities to work in Chile (I myself was doing it a few months). If I were losing now, my Doctorate would have cost you about 170 million pesos or so.

The equation would look like this: A lot of money invested + few opportunities + brain drain ? the result?


I don't mean for you to read this sad story and that the coffee you were drinking has an even more bitter taste. I want to invite you to join, discuss the subject with your co-workers, at home, with your friends or right here on this site. If you're not interested in the topic, do so finally because of the fact that this affects your pocket.

To finish I share some of the questions that turn in my head:

Does the issue only increase the percentage of GDP we invest in research? (About 0.3%. BE CAREFUL with this data. To put it in perspective, Mexico invests about 0.5% and world powers, which understood that investment in research was the path to development, between 1-2%)

What does it depend on that the new Ministry of Science and Technology is really a help in solving this crisis?

And here I put hairs soup...

Would it help if our universities committed themselves to making their academic staff composed largely of doctors, as is the case in developed countries?

And the private world, why would it seem that research is seen as an expense and not an investment?