, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 105–117 | Cite as

Size and ageing of the scientific community in Chile

  • F. Saavedra
  • Mary Rose Mackenzie
  • R. Pessot
  • M. Krauskopf


The size and ageing of the Chilean scientific community was studied using as data the individuals actively engaged in research projects funded by the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT). Between 1982 and 1991, 4966 individuals participated at least once, either as responsible for the research or as qualified associate in one term of the funding period. From this population, 2765 persons can be considered further committed with scientific research. As for sex, about 30% of the researchers are women. Taking into account all the disciplines, and in addition to the fact that the size of the Chilean scientific community seems to be subcritical, the study reveals that the workforce has been ageing dangerously through the years. The number of young scientists becoming part of the scientific workforce is decreasing. Research in mathematics, physics and chemistry, although qualitatively competitive, relies only on an extremely small group of excellent scientists, situation which is seriously affecting the scientific capacity that the country needs. Biology, although with a higher number of individuals, exhibits a pattern of ageing which will also affects the possibilities to strengthen the scientific demands. The global context in which science develops, leads to a brain drain that Third World countries will have to overcome, implementing public policies to offer the support that young people require to nurture the scientific strength. Indigenous Ph. D. programs demand urgent attention of policy decision makers as well as from research universities which need to offer opportunities to substitute, when existing, their incompetent faculty.


Young People Decision Maker Public Policy Scientific Community Technological Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    A. Schubert, T. Braun, Three scientometric etudes on developing countries as a tribute to Michael Moravcsik,International Conference on Science Indicators for the Developing Countries, Paris. 1990.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    F. Saavedra, R. Vergara, Recursos humanos en investigación científica tecnológica: su participación en FONDECYT. CONICYT,Serie Estudios, No 21, (1989).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. J. Brunner, In:Educación Superior en América Latina: Cambios y desafíos, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Santiago de Chile, 1990.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Krauskopf, Scientometric indicators as a means to assess the performance of state supported universities in developing countries: the Chilean case,Scientometrics, 23 (1992) 105–121.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Krauskopf, R. Pessot, Science and University. Both demand more attention,Archivos de Biologia y Medicina Experimentales, 20 (1987) 283–294.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. Krauskopf, A. M. Prat, A vision of research in Chile through some scientometric indicators,Archivos de Biologia y Medicina Experimentales, 23 (1990) 51–64.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. J. Brunner, Los problemas de la educación superior en Chile y su futuro,Material de Discusión, Programa FLACSO N o 86, FLACSO, Santiago de Chile, 1986.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. Roche, The establishment of a scientific community in a developing country,Interciencia, 12 (1987) 230–232.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Schubert, A. Telcs, Publication potential — An indicator of scientific strength for cross-national comparisons,Scientometrics, 9 (1986) 231–238.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Schubert, A. Telcs, Estimation of the publication potential in 50 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia based on the frequency distribution of scientific productivity,Journal American Society for Information Science, 40 (1989) 291–297.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    T. Braun, W. Glänzel, A. Schubert, Publication productivity: From frequency distributions to scientometric indicators,Journal of Information Science, 16 (1990) 37–44.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    M. Krauskopf, R. Pessot, Scientific activity in Chile. Publications registered during 1980–1982,Archivos de Biologia y Medicina Experimentales, 16 (1983) 17–27.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. Krauskopf, R. Pessot, Science in Chile: Where is it going? An analysis of the present activity,Archivos de Biologia y Medicina Experimentales, 18 (1985) 225–239.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    M. Krauskopf, R. Pessot, R. Vicuña, Science in Latin America. How much and along what lines,Scientometrics, 10 (1986) 199–206.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    G. M. Martins, R. Queiroz, O perfil do pesquisador brasileiro,Revista Brasileira de Technologia, 18 (1987) 38–46.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    R. Pool, News & Comment. Who will do science in the 1990s?Science, 248 (1990) 433–435.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    W. Lemoine, M. Roche, ¿Por qué la mujer hace ciencia en Venezuela?Acta Científica Venezolana, 38 (1987) 304–310.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    H. Niemeyer, In:Una visión de la comunidad científica nacional. Las actividades de investigación y desarrollo en Chile, (CPU Eds) Santiago de Chile, 1981, pp. 118–137.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    T. Braun, W. Glänzel, A. Schubert, The newest version of the facts and figures on publication output and relative citation impact in physics, engineering and mathematics, 1981–1985,Scientometrics, 14 (1988) 365–382.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    T. Braun, W. Glänzel, A. Schubert, Te newest version of the facts and figures on publication output and relative citation impact in the life sciences and chemistry, 1981–1985,Scientometrics, 14 (1988) 3–15.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    J. D. Frame, Modelling national technological capacity with patent indicators,Scientometrics, 22 (1991) 327–339.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    National Patterns of Science and Technology Resources: 1987. Survey of science Resources Series National Science Foundation, USA, NSF.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    M. G. Finn, Foreign national scientists and engineers in the U.S. labor force, 1972–1982, In:The Roles of Internatinal Mobility of Scientists and Engineers. Proceedings of the Workshop,C. Ganz,G. Boggio (Eds), National Science Foundation, Commission of the European Communities. Washington D. C., 1985, pp. 117–132.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    E. G. Barber, R. P. Morgan, The impact of foreign graduate students on engineering education in the United States,Science, 236 (1987) 33–37.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    New Directions for U.S.-Latin American Cooperation in Science and Technology. Final Report. Prepared for National Science Foundation, National Aeronautic and Space Administration, and Department of Energy, Washington. D. C. SRI International/Washington, 1988.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    L. De Meis, P. H. Longo, The training of Brazilian biochemists in Brazil and in developed countries: Costs and benefits,Biochemical Education, 18 (1990) 182–188.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Saavedra
    • 1
  • Mary Rose Mackenzie
    • 1
  • R. Pessot
    • 2
  • M. Krauskopf
    • 2
  1. 1.Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y TechnológicaSantiago(Chile)
  2. 2.Instituto de BioquimicaUniversidad Austral de ChileValdivia(Chile)

Personalised recommendations