Science and Technology

The development of science and technology in Colombia is mainly manifest through the contribution of its scientists to medicine and social sciences, among other fields of knowledge.

One of the most notable scientific contributions was the first external pacemaker, designed in 1958 by Jorge Reynolds, an engineer from Bogotá.

The neurophysiologist Rodolfo Llinás, one of the pioneers in neuroscience, has made important discoveries regarding the functioning of the brain. Currently he is doing important research seeking a cure for cancer based on his theory of water decomposition for which he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Salomon Hakim, Emilio José Yunis and Manuel Elkin Patarroyo are also internationally known for their contributions to medicine.

Colombia has advanced-technology medical equipment for the diagnosis and timely treatment of all types of pathologies. 16 of them are included in the 45 best hospitals in Latin America in 2011 according to América Economía.

Most scientific research is performed by universities. Over 300 higher education institutions have registered research groups. Studies dealing with global diseases such as malaria, infectious illnesses, leishmaniasis and dengue as well as those dealing with immunology and organ transplant stand out.

The social sciences have looked at drug addiction and violence in Colombian society. In the humanities there are important contributions to linguistics, sociology and philosophy.

Organizations which promote and support scientific and technological research include the Instituto Colombiano para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia (Colciencias - Colombian Institute for the Development of Science), the Asociación Colombiana para el Avance de la Ciencia (ACAC - Colombian Association for the Advancement of Science) and the Observatorio Colombiano de Ciencia y Tecnología (OCyT - Colombian Observatory for Science and Technology).

The creation in 2009 of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies –MINTIC– has advanced the telecommunications infrastructure in the development of hardware, software and applications as well as systems integration and consulting.