Soapbox science, a public meeting to highlight the role of women in science

For the first time in Latin America, CONICET scientists have undertaken this initiative to raise awareness of their knowledge production.

Speakers’ team and organizers of Soapbox Science in Tucumán. Photo: courtesy Mariana Claverie, of online portal El Tucumano.

At Plaza Independencia in San Miguel de Tucumán, twelve scientists of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) met on September 7th to promote Sopabox Science: ‘Ciencia sobre la Tarima’ [Science on the platform]. The objective is to highlight the role of women in the construction of scientific knowledge and promote scientific vocations for young people with the equal opportunities.

This initiative, which emulates the Speaker’s Corner, was created in Hyde Park in London, in 2011 and was replicated in different parts of the world. Since its creation, the speakers have given public speeches to encourage an open debate with the society. This is the first time this initiative is undertaken in a Spanish speaking country and together with Río de Janerio, Brazil, in Latin America.

The staff that organized the first local edition comprises professionals of the ‘Institute of Regional Ecology’ (IER, CONICET-UNT). They are: María Piquer-Rodríguez, Silvia Lomáscolo, Fernanda Chiappero, Ramiro Ovejero and Leandro Macchi.

As regards the speakers, the team is composed of researchers, doctoral and postdoctoral fellows of different CONICET institutes in Tucumán, and the dynamic of the activity involved short speeches from a platform to let people know about the work related to areas of science, technology, architecture and engineering. More than 400 visitors attended the initiative.

“The square turned into a learning and debate center. The objective is to eliminate the current gender inequality and reflect the importance of women in science and society,” said Carolina Monmany Garzia, IER researcher and speaker at the event.

The speakers and their lectures

María Laura Taddei, Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales (ISES, CONICET-UNT), and Instituto de Arqueología y Museología (IAM, UNT).
Lecture: «Hablemos de suelo y tierra: entre el conocimiento científico y los saberes campesinos».

Alexandra Buitrago Guacaneme, of the Instituto de Biodiversidad Neotropical (IBN, CONICET-UNT).
Lecture: «Insectos, ríos y cambio climático goteando en la canilla de tu casa».

Carolina Monmany-Garzia, of Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER-CONICET-UNT).
Lecture: «Sociedad plástica: de las polillas a las imágenes satelitales».

Carolina Somonte, professional of Instituto de Arqueología y Museología (IAM, UNT) and Centro de Investigaciones y Ecología Histórica (CIEH).
Lecture: «Las piedras también se maquillan… cuanto más viejas, más bonitas».

Gabriela Fontanarrosa, from Instituto de Biodiversidad Neotropical (IBN-CONICET-UNT).
Lecture: «Biología desde seres imaginarios».

Maria Laura Cordero, professional of Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales (ISES, CONICET-UNT).
Lecture «¿Desnutrición u obesidad? ¿Qué pasa en Tucumán?»

María Leonor Sandoval Salinas, from Instituto de Investigación en Luz, Ambiente y Visión (ILAV,CONICET-UNT).
Lecture: «Ese murciélago, ¿es amarillo-oscuro o marrón-claro? ¿Es lo mismo? ¿A quién le importa?»

Patricia Viviana Zelaya ,from Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER-CONICET-UNT).
Lecture: “Escribir un libro, Tener hijos, Plantar un árbol….sigue siendo esa la prioridad ??? «
Paula Luciana Boldrini Peralta, researcher at the Centro de Estudios sobre Territorio y Hábitat Popular (CETyHAP-CONICET ).
Lecture: «Ciencia transformadora: ¿Por arte de magia o por arte de lucha?»

Rocío Sánchez, professional of Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER-CONICET-UNT).
Lecture: “El barrio se llena de plumas: ¿quién las vió?»

María Sofía Marinaro Fuentes ,member of Instituto de Ecología Regional, (IER-CONICET).
Lecture: «Las penas son de nosotros, las vaquitas son ajenas».

Solana Yanina Asfora, of Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales (ISES-CONICET-UNT).
Lecture: «¿Dónde hay pobreza infantil en el Norte Argentino?»

By Maximiliano Grosso – CCT CONICET Tucumán.
Translation: Cintia González