Trends in Planetary Science research in the Puna and Atacama desert regions: under-representation of local scientific institutions?

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Adrien Jeremy Tavernier, Gabriel Pinto, Millarca Valenzuela, Ayon Garcia, Christopher Ulloa, Romulo Oses, Bernard Foing


In 2019 while launching a multidisciplinary research project aimed at developing the Puna de Atacama region as a natural laboratory, investigators within the University of Atacama (Chile) conducted a bibliographic search identifying previously studied geographical points of the region and of potential interest for planetary science and astrobiology research. This preliminary work highlighted a significant absence in foreign publications consideration of local institutional involvement. In light of this, a follow-up study was carried out to confirm or refute these first impressions, by comparing the search in two bibliographic databases: Web of Science and Scopus. The results show that almost 60% of the publications based directly on data from the Puna, the Altiplano or the Atacama Desert with objectives related to planetary science or astrobiology do not include any local institutional partner (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru). Indeed, and beyond the ethical questioning of international collaborations, Latin-American planetary science deserve a strategic structuring, networking, as well as a road map at a national and continental scale, not only to enhance research, development and innovation but also to protect an exceptional natural heritage sampling extreme environmental niches on Earth. Examples of successful international collaborations such as the field of meteorites, terrestrial analogues and space exploration in Chile or astrobiology in Mexico are given as illustrations and possible directions to follow in order to develop planetary sciences in South America.



Planetary Sciences


Atacama Desert, Bibliographical survey, International collaboration, planetary science, puna, South America


Published: 2022-12-19 09:27


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