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|Austral University Fire: Darwin and Steven Hawkins|
|Valdivia Southern Chile City Guide|
The Austral University in Valdivia, Chile is quickly becoming one of the top Universities in Chile. It is one of the few Universities in Southern Chile that regularly lures away top students from Santaigo's Universities. One of the reasons for the reputation of the Austral University is that it is conducting cutting edge science. Recently however a fire in the Science building resulted in the almost total destruction of priceless research of professors and students, including a one of kind collection of Charles Darwin's specimens that where recently repatriated to Chile for a new Natural History museum. There where no injuries in the Fire. The University is however getting some international help in recovering in the form of an upcoming lecture by Steven Hawkins.
The fire at the Austral University is believed to have been caused by electrical problems. The local fire departments called in neighboring fire departments from Puerto Montt to aid in fighting the fire as they had more experience and training in dealing with hazardous materials. Universities experts assisted the fire departments in advising as to the location and nature of the chemicals in the building, and the entire University campus was shutdown for several days after the fire. No one was killed by the fire.http://www.conferencia-valdivia.cl/
Losses from Austral University Fire
Among the losses where research going back hundreds of years including data from numerous studies related to Southern Chile's flora and fauna, marine life, and the campus science complex was also where campus servers and data switches where located. In the days around the fire all phone lines to the campus where cut. Also among the losses where a collection of artifacts from Charles Darwin's trip to South America that was being prepared for a permanent display in a new natural history museum. Students and teachers estimate that it will take more than 10 years to recover the research lost, among the research that can be replaced.
Steven Hawkins to Lecture to lecture in Valdivia
It is not all bad news from the Austral University this month. Through a friend at the Austral University Claudio Bunster, the World famous physicist Steven Hawkins has agreed to visit Valdivia and give a lecture in January. Tickets are free, but based on availability.
You can find more information at these links: