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.
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.
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.
Simposio de CienciaPR: Quiero ser científico… ¿y ahora qué hago?
Understanding the world around them. This is what motivates thousands of people, in Puerto Rico and around the world, to do science. The great patriot and educator Eugenio María de Hostosonce said: "Science is the presentation of each and every one of the efforts of understanding."
Through history, science has been a key element in one of the most fundamental quests of humanity: the generation of knowledge to understand the world around us. It could be said that science makes us humans. After all, scientific questions stem from curiosity, a quality we all share.
CienciaPR website throughout time. March, 2006 (left). Right, August, 2011
CienciaPR.org was established in 2006 with the mission of providing a site in where the members of the scattered Puerto Rican scientific community could have a meeting point. Thanks to the support of thousands of users and a dedicated group of volunteer scientists, in five years, CienciaPR have exceeded the initial expectations becoming one of the scientific portals of more coverage in Puerto Rico and Latin America.
Dr. Ricardo Alegría Gallardo, arqueólogo y antropólogo
Ricardo Alegría Gallardo (April 14, 1921- July 7, 2011)
Archeological findings help reveal the secrets of old civilizations, construct the history of a place and its ancestors, and shape the identity of contemporary people. The knowledge of our Puerto Rican history, more than an agglomeration of findings that reveal an unknown origin, was a life style for Dr. Ricardo Alegría-Gallardowhom we honor with this spotlight.
Our society is at the cusp of a scientific revolution. The generation and application of knowledge and innovation have fundamentally changed the way we live and are a driving force in the global economy. For that reason many countries around the world, including Puerto Rico, are making a push to establish knowledge-based economies.
The Gas Pipeline will impact several acres of rivers, forests and residential areas.
For some time, in Puerto Rico we have been hearing about the Gas Pipeline project or the Green Way. Since CienciaPR¥s mission is to impartially educate the general public, we have prepared this small special story a about what is in reality the Gas Pipeline and what are the possible advantages and risks associated with the construction, management and maintenance of it.
When the different NASA spacecraft such as Voyager, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging), among others, currently exploring the universe send messages to Earth, they do so through the transmission of microwaves, a type of electromagnetic wave, shorter in wavelength than that of radio, that can travel far distances and penetrate through the atmosphere. While longer microwaves are used to cook our food, shorter microwaves are used for satellite communication to Earth, for radar systems such as the Doppler weather radar, for GPS navigation, and even for wireless internet signals.
mtDNA can be classified in haplogroups which are specific for differents regions in the world. This figure shows the haplogroup A of PR.
Do you remember the stories about the native inhabitants of Puerto Rico that we were taught in school? Yes, the Taino Indians. They faded with the arrival of Spanish colonizers, according to the story. When exactly TaÌno ceased to exist? There is archaeological evidence indicating that the Tainos lived on the island longer than historians point, but there are still conflicting versions of both lines. Not only archaeologists and historians were interested in learning more about the Taino culture. A curious scientist that since he was a teenager was fascinated with stories about the Tainos, had in mind a number of questions, but mostly an effort to answer them.