FERNANDEZ Diana Elizabeth
Paleontology in Argentina: History, heritage, funding, and education from a southern perspective
FERNÁNDEZ, DIANA E.; LUCI, LETICIA; CATALDO, CECILIA S.; PÉREZ, DAMIÁN E.
Año: 2014 vol. 17.3 p. 1 - 18
Paleontology in Argentina has a long history. The first fossil discoveries date back to the mid-eighteenth century. The progress made in recent years indicates that the discipline continues to grow in the country and has promising future prospects. Given than most of the scientific research done in Argentina is funded by government agencies, the future of paleontology (and many other scientific disciplines) in the country is directly dependent on whether or not the scientific progress of the country continues to be a national government?s priority. For the moment, the funding of paleontological projects, the stable number of researchers in the area and the increment in the number of stipends for graduate students, all appear highly promising. The demand of CPA continues to grow and should be considered an interesting alternative to the CIC. In the last 12 years, two formal degrees in paleontology were created in Argentina, including the first one in Latin America. The number of incoming students, both national and international, continues to be steady and the great majority of graduates have incorporated into the scientific system. Countless fossils have been illegally taken from our country in the last 100 years. Under the updated, current law for protection of paleontological heritage, progress on the subject has been done, but a lot remains to be achieved. We believe that some of the problems arising from the implementation of the law are mainly bureaucratic. In a country of incredible landscape beauty and multicultural richness, the inclusion of paleontological sites in tourism remains mostly unexploited. The few ongoing projects show that this is a promising area which conveys employment opportunities and could also become a potential awareness tool in regard to paleontological heritage protection for local and foreign visitors.