Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

Science in Panama requires financial support

Science in Panama requires financial support



The challenge of teaching science in Panama, from the origin of the emergence of the isthmus by volcanic formation, goes through the demand of professionals to provide at least 6% of the Nation's budget to these investigations, which they transmit to public educators.

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The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the US, at its scientific station in Galeta (Colón), about 90 kilometers northeast of Panama City, for the twelfth time brought together a group of primary and secondary school educators from all over the country to transmit the advances of the latest research.

STRI scientist, Panamanian Carlos De Gracia, graduated in the Czech Republic with a Master's Degree in Geobiology, told Efe that the nation's future needs "at least 6% of the budget" just to boost research because it is currently "very small" "the flow of resources that are allocated.

De Gracia shared the theories about the emergence of the isthmus with about fifty educators and other professionals who during two weeks in Galeta will learn about the scientific advances to "translate" them to their students and this Tuesday they made a search of fossils in the Gatun formation , with more than three million years old, which has been uncovered thanks to a quarry.

Bones of animals, shells, sedimentary formation, among other residues of years to be determined, gathered the expeditionaries, including the invited journalists, on the ground, under a scorching sun that in no way diminished the courage to explore and discover part of the history of origin from Panama.

Next to start doctoral studies in Paleontology in Vienna (Austria) thanks to a grant from the State, De Gracia is eager to transmit all the possible knowledge to his audience so that in turn some of his students want to study these disciplines.

"Knowing more about what we have allows us to work much better for its conservation, which is why it is important to investigate," said the scientist, who said that "it is progressing very fast" every investigation is done, such as how the height of the Isthmus of Panama less than what the sea level rises.

Other investigations recently speak of "this chain of volcanoes in central Panama," several turned off by the pressure of the Panama and Cocos tectonic plates, which is increasing the height of the country in the Pacific sector, but less than the rise of the ocean by effects of climate change and that is observed in the Punta Burica peninsula (border with Costa Rica).

He said that, like the STRI, geologists from the University of Panama, the United States, Europe and South America, as well as Costa Rica, are studying the Isthmus of Panama.

Finding a fossil monkey in Panama caused "great impact" due to its antiquity, within the research on the migration of species from South America to Central America, because it is argued that it came from Africa and not from South America, as was previously believed.

On the origin of the llama, considered a native of South America, but actually moved from North America and thanks to Panama migrated, clarified that this animal "is not related to the camels", they are only mammals, "but they are different groups" of species .

He recalled that the major powers allocate budget to research "in many areas, which allows the country to develop and provide responses tailored to the reality of the country, instead of copying from other places."

According to the existing theories, the debate is still open between the fact that the isthmus arose between 3,000 and 11,000 million years ago, according to standard and modern theories, with a support still to be compared.

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