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."
Recently, three Puerto Rican scientists received high honors from AAAS, during the society's annual meeting, held February 16-20 in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Mariano García-Blanco, from Duke University, and Dr. Gregory Quirk from the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, were inducted as Fellows of AAAS. Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Colón-Ramos received the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science.
Unraveling the Secrets of RNA
For the last two decades, Dr. Mariano García-Blanco has been studying the biology of RNA, an essential molecule for life. About six years ago, Mariano began a "scientific adventure" and rekindled his interest in flaviviruses—which he studied during his M.D., Ph.D. at Yale University—this time the one that causes dengue fever. "The dengue virus is an RNA virus, so we had the tools to study it," says Mariano.