The mystery of science and technology in Chile

The mystery of science and technology in Chile

The budget (0.37% of GDP) in Science and Technology (S&T) for 2018 (-2.2% compared to 2017, that is, 15,400 million pesos less) is discouraging, contradictory to the creation of a Ministry of Science and Technology...a mystery!We are last in line for the OECD average (2.5%), below Argentina, Colombia and Brazil, the latter with a drastic cut – close to 50% – in the budget due to repeated corruption scandals, but they say we are smart and applied.

So, if there are not enough resources to do research in S&T, it can be inferred that there will be fewer inputs or raw materials to disseminate in the traditional media. Frankly, it becomes a steep slope, difficult to climb.

Consequently, we not only abandon spaces for dialogue on S&T and innovation, we also put a brake on freedom of expression and access to information as a subtle, sophisticated censorship inhibiting the right to know, to know, nullifying the educational value and the effects on culture that S&T essentially has.

Knowing who are the authors of this involution or fissure, is difficult to detect: the media, journalists, editors, politicians, advertising advertisers, indifferent readers, teachers etc. Everyone and no one at once, like a complex skein, insufficient to syndicate a single responsible and frustrating for not having the author in the imagination, only the figure is what speaks.

However, these inhospitable, anti-science conditions open a challenge to critical science journalism and dissemination, and also to anyone who feels in the investigation a space to reveal the facts, to decipher the keys to S&T.

Nothing that is done is left out of the networks of scientific knowledge (Calvo, 2002). It is the communicators who can take the cell to the street, or to see a star millions of light years away, refresh the protectionof theAraucariaAraucanaby predation of concrete or warn of the effects of a new plant of hydrocarbons off the coast.

In a recent publication (RLCS, 2017) of the perception of scientists and journalists on the communication of S&T in Chile, they declare to have a pessimistic image in relation to dissemination in Chile and in more than 90% of those consulted manifest null interference in the development, implementation or evaluation of public policies of scientific communication, consistent with this historical bad treatment of research.

Paradoxical, researchers and journalists, every day in the laboratory and in the media respectively, but without power of expression.

What's missing for skeptics to believe? The evidence is there, in the published paper, in the scientists outside the country – never to the dozens of projects that apply to Fondecyt (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development), but that die because they do not have funding, in the frustration of PhD without contracts, also in research with high rates of appointments, vaccines ad-portas to give cures or prizes for research perseverance.

Chilean society can and should have the opportunity to develop and grow in balance and with quality, they have the installed capacity with remarkable scientists, technologists, journalists and communicators with an appetite to contribute creatively in written and digital media, world-class research in astronomy, immunology, neuroscience, oceanography, geographical areas that allow a focused approach to research, Milenium Scientific Initiative that with effort seeks to increase the dissemination of S&T in the community.

Let's find the unlikely actors in this equation, if that doesn't produce scientific literacy, nothing will.