For many it will be surprising to hear that Panama is diligently working to become a center for biological research and development, but it is true. I work with on a project with Dr. Ruben Berrocal Timmons, who is secretary of Science and Technology for Panama and he is serious about getting Panama ahead in this important endeavour. Although he is a cousin of the president he is also a well qualified physician and researcher that the president recruited from his Florida practice in order to have someone he knew and trusted work in this important position. An article came out this month by McMillan publishers that will give you some idea of what is going on in this arena.
The investment is already in evidence. In March, ground is to be
broken on a $20-million science and technology innovation park near
Panama City; construction of a $5-million vivarium for the country’s
research animals is planned for this spring; the government is funding
about 100 Panamanians to undertake doctoral studies at universities
abroad, with incentives to return to Panama for research careers; and the
first complete in-country PhD research programme — in biotechnology
— has just begun at INDICASAT-AIP. Observers say that the country’s
efforts at a scientific renaissance could even serve as a model for other
nations seeking new life after conflicts.
The change in Panamanian science amazes some, including Ira
Rubinoff, who led the US Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
in Panama for 34 years until 2008. “If you told me this would happen
25 years ago, I would say you were smoking something illicit,” he says.
Download the rest of the story here.... Download Panama's big ambition