Part of the scientific community in Chile is pushing for greater national investment in science and the creation of a science ministry, writes Pablo Astudillo Besnier, who is part of the More Science for Chile coordination team, in The Guardian. Earlier this year, Astudillo Besnier and his colleagues wrote in a letter in Science that "politicians, researchers, and even international organizations have criticized Chile's lack of a modern and appropriate government policy for research" and that "Chile desperately needs to update its national planning for research."
However, in a rebuttal letter in Science, Jose Aguilera from CONICYT, which is Chile's governmental science funding agency, says that that CONICYT's budget increased about 2.7 times between 2008 and 2012 and that CONICYT does have research plans — he points to efforts to increase access to new lab equipment and electronic journals as well as the formation of new international science research centers. Aguilera adds that a ministry will only lead to greater bureaucracy.
In The Guardian, Astudillo Besnier says that he hopes that the promotion of scientific research will be incorporated into the upcoming Chilean presidential elections.