The Academy of Sciences, which promotes research in the pure and applied sciences, and the Chilean Academy of Medicine, which promotes research and disseminates information in the health sciences, were both founded in 1964 in Santiago and are part of the Institute of Chile. In addition, there were, as of 1996, 64 specialized learned societies in the fields of medicine; the natural, biological, and physical sciences; mathematics and statistics; and technology. The government agency responsible for planning science and technology policy is the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research. Total expenditures on research and development reached 0.7% of GNP in 1987–97, when 445 scientists and engineers and 233 technicians engaged in research and development.
Chile has 22 institutes conducting research in agriculture, medicine, natural sciences, and technology, as well as the European Southern Observatory. At least 27 colleges and universities offer degrees in basic and applied sciences. In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 42% of college and university enrollments.