CECs, Centro de Estudios Científicos (Center for Scientific Studies) is a private, non-profit corporation, devoted to the development, promotion and diffusion of scientific research. CECs was founded in 1984 as the Center for Scientific Studies of Santiago and has since been directed by physicist Claudio Bunster.

“If you plan to make a voyage of discovery, choose a ship of small draught”
Captain James Cook rejecting the large ships offered by the Admiralty for the search of a new continent.
International Scientific Advisory Committee

Excerpts from the report of the International Scientific Advisory Committee to CECs. December 2010.

“The research done at CECs in theoretical physics, biology, and glaciology, should be regarded as a source of great pride to the Chilean government and Chilean people in many ways. The research done at CECs is world-class in each of its three major areas, and is on par with the leading universities and institutions throughout the world.”

“The formation of an institute consisting of three groups in quite different fields of science - physics, biology and glaciology - might seem a bit odd at the first sight. However, this is not that uncommon in the world and has been shown to work very well. The most famous such institute, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, has four groups, Natural Science, Mathematics, Historic Studies and Social Science. Each group is of the same size as the sections at CECs. The Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem has a similar structure. It has also a group in economy.”

“The idea behind an institute like this is to have an intellectual milieu of highest quality. The crossroads between the various groups create interesting intersections for discussions and help to build a more fertile research atmosphere. In this respect it does not matter too much which different subjects are mixed. The important thing is that each group operates at a very high scientific level. This has been a part of CECs since its inception, as its core capabilities consisted of two of the strongest research groups in Chile (theoretical physics and biology), which were united in the effort. Subsequently CECs added a third scientific pillar (glaciology) to its capabilities, which further strengthened the center. As an extra bonus the interaction has indeed resulted also in scientific collaborations between biologists and glaciologists, a collaboration that would not have been as likely to occur in an ordinary university setting.“

“…we feel that CECs is working very well as an institute for advanced study and it should be the pride of Chile.”