Ciencia Boricua Profiles

Every month we profile the work of an outstanding CienciaPR member or discuss a topic of relevance to our community

Art-science: Dissemination of science through art

Yaihara Fortis Santiago's picture
Dr. José Francisco Salgado, astrónomo, fotógrafo, artista visual y educador, en el Observatorio de Arecibo (Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, Puerto Rico, 28 Nov 2007). . Derechos de autor: Foto por Jorge Rodríguez, © 2007 José Francisco Salgado, PhD
Astronomer, graphic artist and photographer José Francisco Salgado at the Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, Puerto Rico, 28 Nov 2007. Copyright Photo by Jorge Rodríguez, © 2007 José Francisco Salgado, PhD

Becoming a scientist is a very individual process and can involve different paths as we discover and combine diverse experiences and interests. Although the trajectory to becoming a scientist is something very personal, finding a way to merge our passions is one of the most important things that we can do to ensure professional success, especially in the sciences. This was the case for astronomer, graphic artist and photographer José Francisco Salgado.

Pushing the boundaries of neurobiology: The Puerto Rico Center for Environmental Neuroscience

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture
El Instituto de Neurobiología en el Viejo San Juan.
Located in historic Old San Juan, the Institute of Neurobiology has established the Puerto Rico Center for Environmental Neuroscience, becoming a pioneer in this emerging field.

Every organism, from flies to humans, experiences their surroundings through the nervous system.  The senses, specialized parts of that nervous system, allow organisms to explore and respond to an ever-changing environment.  The ability to interact with, respond and adapt to an environment and its changes is a key feature for any organism’s survival.

The Chemistry of Going from Mentee to a Mentor

Yaihara Fortis Santiago's picture
Dr. Luis Echegoyen
Dr. Luis Echegoyen is Robert A Welch Endowed Professor in Chemistry at the University of Texas, El Paso

In general terms, a mentor is a role model—a person that has delivered positive results or achieved professional success and is in a position to help others that want to accomplish similar goals.  Dr. Luis Echegoyen, a Robert A. Welch endowed Professor in Chemistry at University of Texas at El Paso, understands the true meaning of this definition.

Beyond the Laboratory: Promoting Scientific Dialogue, from Puerto Rico to D.C.

Samuel L Díaz Muñoz's picture
Dra. Frances Colón
La Dra. Frances Colón es Asesora en Ciencia y Tecnología para la Secretaria de Estado de los Estados Unidos.

There is no doubt that science and technology have a great impact on our lives. Transportation, media, medical advances and what we know about the Universe and the human body, are the result of scientific knowledge and its applications.

Science is also inseparable from the economy, politics, law and education. The decision-making process concerning the preservation of our ecosystems, or in which areas of research to invest funding in order to stimulate solutions to social problems, can and should be informed by scientific data.

Illuminating the "Gray City" and the World with her Science

Reyna I. Martínez De Luna's picture
Dra Lilliam Casillas
La Dra. Lilliam Casillas Martínez is Profesora en la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Humacao y fundadora del Observatorio Microbiológica Cabo Rojo.

This summer, while on the way Playa Sucia or Los Morrillos Lighthouse, many of us will drive by the Cabo Rojo salt flats. Salt extracted from the Cabo Rojo salt from salt flats—the oldest industry in Puerto Rico—is highly pure and has great commercial value, thus making it an important source of income. But, did you know that the salt flats or salterns, as they are also known, are also a large-scalen oversized Microbiology laboratory?

Eco-pacifist Education as a Tool for Social Evolution

Jacqueline Flores Otero's picture
Logo Proyecto EcoPaz
El Proyecto Ecopaz utiliza recursos educativos para proveer herramientas que nos ayuden a entender y transformar los problemas que actualmente enfrentamos.

Throughout the years, our role as agents of change in a dynamic society such as the one we live in has acquired major relevance. Our society is not only threatened by the economic challenges that are actually being faced in the world, but by the crisis that exists in what respect to the human values and its consequences in the environment.

Advancing Society with Science

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture
Daniel Colón Ramos, recibiendo premio AAAS
CienciaPR's founder and Yale University professor, Daniel Colón-Ramos, receiving the 2011 AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science.

The answer to many of the environmental, health, social and economic challenges faced by modern society lay in the advancement of science, engineering and innovation. Thus, scientists and engineers must play a role in making science accessible to the public they aim to help with their discoveries.

Organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) aim to increase communication between the scientists and the public to "advance science and serve society."

Public Service through Ecology and the Environmental Sciences

Wilson Javier Gonzalez-Espada's picture
Janice Alers
Dr. Janice Alers-Garcia achieved a perfect combination by providing public services through ecology and environmental sciences.

Guest Editor Mónica Feliú Mójer | 

Talking about Janice Alers-Garcia's scientific and professional interests entails stories about self-discovery, making the best out of opportunities and appreciation for the inspiration provided by colleagues, students, family and friends. 

The "Chemistry" between Science and Society

Greetchen Díaz-Muñoz's picture
Dr. Jorge Colón
Dr. Jorge Colón (holding poster, on front) and members of the AAAS Caribbean Division, with Haitian scientists and educators during the first workshop in Puerto Rico. Photo by: Edward W. Lempinen/AAAS

Two years after a devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, there are there are still many challenges facing our neighboring country. Given the need to rebuild and recover infrastructure and systems, science promises to play a vital role. Contrary to what many people think, Haiti has educational institutions and basic research resources to support local science in its territory. Although much was devastated by the last earthquake, the reality is that there is talent to continue and enhance the work of Haitian scientists and science educators.

Summertime: A chance for reciprocal summer research programs

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture
Reciprocal summer programs
Propuesta para el desarrollo de programas de verano recíprocos. (Imágen por F. Carrero-Martínez)

Creating an environment conducive to academic research requires a number of critical factors: funds to recruit investigators and pay for the costs of their projects; access to research resources, reagents, and technologies; institutional systems to support research logistics (e.g. purchasing offices; facilities; administrative support; budget offices; grants and contracts specialists; etc.); and above all, brilliant minds and skilled hands. There is a lot of scientific talent and interest in Puerto Rico—as evidenced by the membership of this website, which grows daily.