The Center for Scientific Studies is a private, non-profit corporation devoted to the development, promotion and diffusion of scientific research. The centre was founded in Santiago in 1984, but it is housed in Valdivia since 2000. From the start, its director has been the physicist Claudio Bunster.
The Center for Scientific Studies has three laboratories for the development of high-standard investigation: the laboratory of theoretical physics, of biology and of glaciology and climate change.
The laboratory of theoretical physics focuses on the development of tools and techniques to build a theory in order to unify the gravitational field and the rest of nature’s basic forces.
The laboratory of biology excels in the research of extremophiles, functional genomics of epithelia, energy metabolism and neuroendocrinology.
The laboratory of glaciology and climate change studies the variation of glaciers and ice flow dynamics and its relation to climate change. To do so, they use methods such as measurements and systematic monitoring of glaciers with GPS systems, echo sounding, terrestrial laser scanning, airborne laser scanning, sonar, weather stations, thermal imaging and digital analysis of satellite images.
In addition, the center offers a number of educational and scientific programs such as its recognized program «Scientist for a Month», and also guided tours, social gatherings and cultural activities in the Tent of Science.