MRC-funded researcher Dianne Newbury won our international collaboration competition last year for a poster describing her work with researchers in Chile on speech and language development. When we heard that the story involved a mysterious predominance of language problems on the island that inspired Robinson Crusoe, we invited her to write about it.
Our story begins on a small island 400 miles off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean. Robinson Crusoe Island is named after Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish sailor who was marooned on the island for four years in the 1700s and was reportedly the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s famous novel.
The island is quiet, the climate warm and the vistas unique, making it an idyllic holiday location. It has a population of less than 1,000 individuals, most of whom live in the island’s only town, San Juan Bautista. Read more