Our Planet is increasingly connected. Not so many years ago (before 1946), going from Punta Arenas to Santiago meant 3 to 4 days of travel by land. In those days of travel, in the absence of cell phones, families were cut off and in the field of knowledge, reliable information was obtained mainly in books, since there was no internet. It seems extraordinary to me that, in less than 70 years, science, technology and innovation took us from days of travel to hours to get to the same place. That thanks to the cell phone we can talk with our loved ones even when they are on the other side of the planet, and that the vast majority of information is just a click away with the development of the internet. Even more impressive is that we know that this development does not stop, it is getting faster and faster and we can be part of it. Hopefully soon we will have internet in every part of the planet thanks to satellite internet, shorten more travel times with the development of space technology, and that technologies will be increasingly green, to achieve the care of our planet.
Globalization has been the cornerstone of science, a recent example of this are Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, winners of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of a method for gene editing. Both researchers are from different nationalities and continents (American and French) and through scientific collaboration with the help of globalization, they developed a technique that will be the basis for molecular science in the near future.
In recent years, Chile has made progress in advancing science. In the Nature Index 2021 ranking, Chile has the second place in scientific development at the South American level, being only surpassed by Brazil. This figure does not cease to impress, especially when comparing investment in science in Brazil, which exceeds 1% of GDP with that of Chile, which since 2007 has not increased by 0.3% of GDP (Institute of Statistics of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) With these data we can conclude that our country has great minds, but with a low budget and that investment in science is far from reaching that of developed countries like the United States (2.8% ), Germany (3.1%) or Japan (3.2%).
I have lived in Magallanes for 7 years. Here I have raised my family and taken my first steps in science, and little by little I can be listing the advantages and disadvantages of science from this southern region. My main advantage is that Magellan has an incredible biodiversity, it is well earned the recognition of a natural laboratory, in every corner there is something to observe and phenomena that we can be surprised by, in addition, people are eager for knowledge and a deep love for maintain your region My main disadvantage, the territorial disconnection, living in this area I fully understand why they talk about the independent republic of Magellan.
So a logical question is, if doing science in Chile is difficult and even more so in Magallanes, how do we manage to do regional science with global impact?
The Regional Center Foundation CequaIn its recent 19-year history, it has generated international networks with Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Germany. This vision of fostering linkage today pays off, since thanks to the collaboration we awarded the competition for Strengthening Scientific Development of ANID Regional Centers 2020 with the project “Microbiome of the External Surface of Key Species of Ecological and Economic Importance in the Magallanes region and the Chilean Antarctic: microbes as bioindicators of the health of the aquatic ecosystem in a global warming scenario ”. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep3QQSLEp9Y).
Personally, this first year of project execution has been tremendously challenging, but it has allowed me a leap in learning. Having access to cutting-edge technologies and cutting-edge knowledge completely revolutionized my way of seeing “how to do science”. With each conversation, new ideas appear on unpublished topics for the region and we have the opportunity and tools to give answers thanks to the growth of the center and the multiple links. I believe that the next step for science is precisely this, to really open the territorial barriers of knowledge and evolve as a planet rather than as a region.
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International scientific collaboration, strategies for scientific development in Magallanes.