Like many, the leadership of Ciencia Puerto Rico is concerned by the results of the U.S. presidential election. This period has revealed great divisions and a level of disaffection, both in Puerto Rico and in the United States, which are impossible to ignore. It is no secret that the president-elect has taken anti-science and anti-environment positions. Although we do not know for sure his opinion on Puerto Rico, the president-elect was notorious for his divisive and discriminatory rhetoric against Latinxs and other ethnic groups.
Scientists in Puerto Rico, the U.S., and the rest of the world are extremely concerned about how research, scientific education and the public discourse about science will be affected.
After having had time to process and reflect on the elections and their results, we are more convinced than ever of the importance of communities such as Ciencia Puerto Rico. Our mission has always been to promote a scientific culture and critical thinking to empower our people. That mission becomes even more meaningful now.
Scientists enjoy a privileged position in our society. Armed with the scientific method, we have the privilege of exploring knowledge, contributing to centuries of discoveries and to the understanding of the universe. In addition, our fellow citizens largely trust in our expertise.
It is imperative that we take honor this privilege—now more than ever—and that we are vocal and visible for science. As a scientific community, we must be guardians of the process of science and scientific knowledge. We have to listen and have a conversation with our fellow citizens; that we educate and help change misconceptions. We have to join our voices to defend our communities; to promote and defend diversity and inclusion.
The CienciaPR community and team are composed of leaders and future leaders in education, academia, industry, and government, among many other sectors. CienciaPR has stood out for uniting the Puerto Rican scientific community—in the archipelago and the diaspora—to make science more accessible, to improve scientific education, to promote research and access to scientific careers. During the past decade, we have dedicated ourselves to putting the knowledge and commitment of the scientific community at the service of the country, to catalyze the progress of Puerto Rico.
Although this moment may seem like a dark chapter, we must not forget that in the darkest moment it is when one sees better where the light is coming from. You, the scientific and CienciaPR community, with your brilliant minds, are that light.