Conservation biology in Chile: Are we fulfilling our social contract?
Biodiversity conservation needs to be informed by science. On this regard, scientific efforts ought to be allocated to tackle research priorities; offer sound and explicit advice, and results ought to be translated into conservation plans and programs. If such conditions are met, scientists would be fulfilling their social contract, sensu Lubchenco. In this brief essay I analyze the fulfillment of such a contract in Chile. In general, the scarce priorities set for addressing conservation issues are not considered, only a third of scientific publications in conservation-related issues offer explicit advice and a minor fraction of relevant scientific information is considered in the preparation of conservation plans. Current mismatch between conservation science and practice weakens longstanding efforts to achieve an effective conservation of the Chilean biota. Suggestions are advanced to close the gap.