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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.
 
CONICYT: Team Research Project program
 

Excerpts from the report of international referee on the activity at CECs in Theoretical Physics under the Team Research Projects program of CONICYT, for the year 2010. (Published here with the kind permission of CONICYT)

“The productivity in research has been astonishing, all that was anticipated and more.”

“I have supplemented my own impressions by discussing the work of this group with a leading general-relativity researcher in the United States, who confirms that this group of Chilean researchers are well known and their work is highly respected.”

“Overall, I applaud the research capabilities and research output of this very strong group.”

“The group's balance among senior researchers, associate researchers, junior researchers, and students is a very good one.”…”Postdoctoral researchers, some from other countries, have added to the group's vitality and productivity.”…”It is very commendable that students attached to this group are encouraged to participate fully in the research and have been allowed to travel to meetings in other locations, including other countries.”

“Although Valdivia is geographically far removed from other centers with similar interests, it is clear that worldwide interactions are strong and this group is clearly an essential node of a productive international network.”…”The group set itself an ambitious set of goals and were remarkably successful in achieving them. They have proved that the most mathematical and theoretical branches of physics can be successfully conducted and can have international impact from a modest base in a corner of South America. They deserve applause for this.”

”The group has participated actively, along with other elements of CECS, in very impressive outreach, to teachers, to students, and to the general public. Members of the group recognize the importance of maintaining links to the public, both to inform and educate the populace and to encourage a favorable attitude toward scientific research. The group's plans for outreach have been well achieved.”