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Timeline Events / Center for Scientific Studies (CECS) in Chile

The Center for Scientific Studies (CECS) was founded in 1984 as the first independent scientific research organization in the history of Chile, and has become an important centre for science in Chile and Latin America. CECS was founded by Chilean theoretical physicists and biologists who had established careers abroad but chose to return to Chile to contribute their skills to the development of their country.

Investigations in the field of Glaciology and Climate Change at the CECS are notably innovative as well as their scientific expeditions to the Antarctic territory. To some extent the Center has arguably reshaped thinking about the role of science in development in Chile and Latin America. The CECS has incorporated the military force as a support to science research, while also holding a democratic view of society. The Center has contributed to the decentralization of the country due to the decision to move and settle down in Valdivia, a small city 800 km (to the south) from the capital city Santiago.

The Center is led by the physicist Claudio Bunster, who, together with his team have helped develop private-public partnerships in order to obtain financing for the institution. Scientists from Latin America and all around the world visit the Centre for their research. The Center has an internal organization based in horizontal relations and mutual support between researchers.

It has been an excellent example of an institution demonstrating that from the South of the world it is possible to produce science of a very first level. In recent years the Center has been involved in a new challenge of greater support and development of applied sciences, beyond their traditional strength in basic sciences. CECS research is funded by competitive funding from the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT – Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico) and other national and international agencies.

Timeline entry contributed by Juan Manuel Fernández Urcelay

Source: CECS website

Link: www.cecs.cl

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