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Puerto Rico Means Science

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture
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Below is a transcript of my speech for March for Science Puerto Rico, held April 22, 2017.

Good morning! Are we ready to march?

My name is Mónica Feliú-Mójer, deputy director of CienciaPR. CienciaPR uses the collective knowledge of the world's largest network of Puerto Rican scientists to share science in rice and beans, to improve science education in Puerto Rico and to forge the next generations of Puerto Rican scientific leaders.

Today I march because to me, Puerto Rico means science. Science is the rolling hills and meadows of Vega Alta. The song of the coquí. The heart-shaped African tulip tree seeds flying through the humid summer air. Science is the beat of the bomba drums. Puerto Rico is the place that made me a scientist and so to me, our culture and identity are inextricably tied to science.

Today I march because I firmly believe that through science we can find solutions to Puerto Rico’s most pressing problems. Science is a vehicle for our social and economic prosperity. Science can and should serve Puerto Rico. But for science to truly serve, all Puerto Ricans must have access to scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, science, scientists and the process of discovery seem alien to the daily lives of the vast majority of Puerto Ricans.

One of the main goals of the March for Science Puerto Rico is to bring science to the people. Today I march so that science truly belongs to everyone. Because I want all Puerto Ricans to be armed with critical thinking, so that they can question and make better decisions.

There are hundreds of scientists here today. Look around. We want you to see us. Today I march, today we—the scientific community marches—to raise awareness of the importance of the scientific process. Because we want a scientific and critical thinking culture for Puerto Rico, for the good of all. To bridge the gap between scientists and citizens. We march so that the people of Puerto Rico will know that we are here, that we are ready to serve.