We do science because we want to change the world

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“We are connected to science 24/7, and the fact that the investigation begins and that it does not end is compelling,” said the girls at La Capitale in a conference on Meet. Accompanied by the family and in the midst of exams, they virtually go through the last years of their degree in biotechnology.

“The race is to be enjoyed. This is the mantra they try to repeat when things don’t go as planned. With attitude, leadership and a good deal of good humor, they embark on this path accompanied by science. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, Clara said she had never felt too affected in her student journey, and preferred face-to-face interactions with teachers and classmates.

“We’re interested in the human part of science, and that’s exactly what we’re missing because we also can’t find the space for that to happen.” We try to do the impossible to see the experiences on YouTube, whereas we should be in the lab, ”adds the Cordovan student, appreciating the educational efforts. As well as homework and study via video calls that encourage the group in these difficult times.

Sol and Clara became friends a few years ago in Neuquén County, when they attended a science camp organized by Expedición Ciencia, an association of educators and scientists that seeks to develop scientific thinking in children and teens.

“On this trip we also met a group of students from various professions, and from that moment we started to organize our winter and summer camps, which are self-managed and take place in the cities where everyone lives, ”they say. The students also explain that during the meetings they have the possibility of carrying out experiments as if it were the first time: “We put ourselves in the shoes of the world, something that we will remember much more than if we were. was studying or seeing him in a documentary. “

The human side of science

What aspiring biotechnologists love most about science is the opportunity to transform reality, a task they say has to be in a group and get them to investigate things they never imagined before. .. Their first approach to science was in high school, thanks to their participation in the Olympic Games, an experience that also allowed them to travel to different parts of the world. For Seol, it was chemistry competitions. On the other hand, Clara discovered her interest in the Biology Olympiad. “It was around this time that I bought my first biology book in college, and thus my story of love and undying passion for science was born,” she says enthusiastically, although she admits that at the end of high school, she scored in five major subjects and struggled to choose.

In addition to the projects in which young students participate – many of which participated with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Cordoba – each develops and undertakes different tasks and activities in their city. Rosario is Deputy Chairman for Mathematics, Epistemology, and Research Methodology. “The diversity of our profession allows us to study everything from bacteria to disease or pollution issues,” Sol explains. The young graduate from École Polytechnique joined a Chagas disease research group this year and also discovered that she is very fond of communicating about science and participating in educational projects.. In the experiment, he began his training in laboratory research this year, although he was able to attend several times due to the pandemic.

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Photo: Leonardo Vincente / La Capitale

Their passion for science is also reflected in their admiration for great history scholars and their appreciation for their teachers and mentors who help, inspire and motivate them on a daily basis. “We have built relationships with some very wonderful close people who surprised us like Alberto Rojo or Jorge Montanari, who allow you to grow up without wondering if the girl you are interviewing is from Instagram,” says Sol.

Clara, for her part, says that since she was a girl she was interested in reading the biographies of Nobel Prize winners, and that precocious anxiety that drove her to investigate and ask questions today. hui has a reward. The Cordoba woman has been chosen as the representative of Argentina at the 70th Interdisciplinary Meeting of Lindau Nobel Laureates, a virtual interactive program that has taken place in recent days with the participation of more than seventy Nobel Laureates and 600 young scientists. A unique opportunity for interdisciplinary intergenerational exchange, which will allow you to come to Germany next year for a face-to-face meeting.

The student is also participating in two bioinformatics projects, a specialization in which she plans to obtain a doctorate and consisting of bioinformatics analysis.

Easier to access and open

“We’re doing science because we want to change the world,” they confirm in their Instagram posts, where post topics, conversations, and funny memes converge around the course. Young women also share a scientific agenda to disseminate open calls to students and professionals. “We are creating a society so that science can spread everywhere. We find that few boys and girls know and recognize the opportunities offered by different institutions and universities, ”they say.

As students of the exact sciences, they refer to the competition that sometimes exists in these places, especially in professions seeking research employment opportunities. “There is a myth that you have to have the best score and the best average to get a place at Conicet, which is not true,” says Sol..

Clara remembers at the time the career guidance courses she gave in high school, which showed scientific careers both in unit and in laboratory: “Then I discovered that the reverse is true, that science is nourished by all these discussions which an experience or a seminar, and that is the important thing ”.

University students say that getting science out of this elusive place that society has identified requires more communication. “If you open a WhatsApp conversation with an aunt or a grandmother and watch the channels they send you, you have the answer. The pandemic has impressively revealed this and it affects us globally and in Latin America, which is why we have a responsibility to rise to this challenge and share knowledge. There are a lot of people who believe that science communication is a waste of time and makes the world worse, which we need to reverse, ”Friends said.

This is why they considered launching an appeal to link the testimonies of certain scholars to their community of followers. “We are looking for the real stories because nobody has followed a perfect path in their career because behind every experience, discovery and research, there are people, and therefore they reach a lot of people.“Carry on.

Boys and girls in science

Unstoppable, daring and imaginative, Sol and Clara are constantly focusing on new projects. Recently, the San Martin School of Villa Carlos Paz invited them to participate in a virtual class with 6th grade students to talk about the scientific method. Instead, they preferred to create audiovisual material that other schools could access later and took inspiration from a workshop they developed in collaboration with Ciencia Si, a group of young scientists from Latin America.

In a ten-minute video, available on Cientina’s YouTube channel, they manage to adapt the story of eight characters who were scientists or scientists, who changed the world with their research.. They point out, “We have designed this presentation for elementary school boys and girls, to introduce them to concepts such as the scientific method and to get them excited with real stories about people dedicated to science. “

Scientific method and historians

Following this production, the creators of Cientina were invited to present the scientific program adapted to adolescents in “Ejumina Ideas”, a project that promotes the personal development and social leadership of young people through educational and cultural programs in the north of Argentina.

Making science more open and accessible means promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science – February 11 – the Municipal Astronomical Complex invited them to record a video. With their growing participation in educational projects, they bet on cultural centers as spaces to advance scientific careers..

“Girls have to know that they can do whatever they want and becoming an astrophysicist, for example, has to be an option. Science knows neither color nor gender, it knows talent. If they love science and believe in it, we must support them, ”he concludes. Sol and Maria Clara are lively and motivated at the start of the conversation.





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