News Picks : Chilean researchers protest lack of science funding
17 November 2015
Nature: Despite being one of South America’s largest and stablest economic powers, Chile invests less than 0.5% of its GDP in science. That low rate of research funding recently triggered a series of protests from the nation’s science community. On 29 October, Francisco Brieva, director of Chile’s National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, resigned his post because of the government’s refusal to consider his proposals for increased funding. That event prompted a number of the country’s scientists to publish an open letter, in which they denounced the government for choosing “to ignore the voices of the national and international community and with its decisions plunge the country into ignorance and poverty.” Hundreds of scientists have also gathered on the streets to protest. As a result, Chile’s Congress is currently considering a budget increase of 150 million pesos ($210 000).