The Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded the American astronomer Robert Christopher Smith for his contribution to the development of this science in Chile
The Secretary General of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Patricio Torres, awarded the Order of Merit Bernardo O'Higgins today to Dr. Robert Christopher Smith, Director of the Pan American Observatory of Cerro Tololo in La Serena and Representative for Chile of the United States for astronomical projects and installations. The award was presented to him for his contribution to the development of astronomy in the country and for his commitment to strengthening and deepening scientific relations between the United States and Chile.
Smith, who is completing his mission in the country, has been an active participant and promoter of various programs and projects that have allowed Chile and its scientific community to be part of international initiatives. Among them are the creation and leadership for more than five years of the Organization for the Protection of the Dark Skies of Northern Chile; its active participation in the "Windows to the Universe" Working Group, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DIBAM with the collaboration of UNESCO to protect the country's scientific heritage; and its role as a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones of La Serana.
In addition, it supported various educational initiatives to bring astronomical science to students in schools in the Coquimbo Region through programs between local schools and the Mamalluca Astronomical Observatory in Vicuña.
"Dr. Smith has promoted and actively participated in various programs and projects that have allowed Chile and its scientific community to be part of international projects," said Ambassador Torres during the ceremony, in which the Director of Energy, Science and Technology and Innovation, Ambassador Gabriel Rodríguez, also participated.