Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 847–852 | Cite as

The reality of scientific research in Latin America; an insider’s perspective

Original Paper

Abstract

There is tremendous disparity in scientific productivity among nations, particularly in Latin America. At first sight, this could be linked to the relative economic health of the different countries of the region, but even large and relatively rich Latin American countries do not produce a good level of science. Although Latin America has increased the number of its scientists and research institutions in recent years, the gap between developed countries and Latin American countries is startling. The prime importance of science and technology to the development of a nation remains unacknowledged. The major factors contributing to low scientific productivity are the limited access to grant opportunities, inadequate budgets, substandard levels of laboratory infrastructure and equipment, the high cost and limited supply of reagents, and inadequate salaries and personal insecurity of scientists. The political and economic instability in several Latin America countries results in a lack of long-term goals that are essential to the development of science. In Latin America, science is not an engine of the economy. Most equipment and supplies are imported, and national industries are not given the incentives to produce these goods at home. It is a pity that Latin American society has become accustomed to expect new science and technological developments to come from developed countries rather than from their own scientists. In this article, we present a critical view of the Latin American investigator’s daily life, particularly in the area of biomedicine. Too many bright young minds continue to leave Latin America for developed countries, where they are very successful. However, we still have many enthusiastic young graduates who want to make a career in science and contribute to society. Governments need to improve the status of science for the sake of these young graduates who represent the intellectual and economic future of their countries.

Keywords

Latin America Science Technology Grants Publications Research 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank colleagues from Latin America who helped with their opinions, discussions, and data. The referee comments contributed to improve significantly the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oncology LaboratoryInstitute of Experimental Medicine and Biology, CONICET, CCTMendozaArgentina
  2. 2.Immunotoxicology Research Group, Pharmacy DepartmentUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaBogotáColombia

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