CEDENNA organizes numerous outreach activities, including conferences, talks, competitions, schools, seminars and exhibitions, to present its work to the general community, generating greater interest in science among the youth of our country.

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Contest of Reports on Great Women Scientists

More than 430 students from throughout Chile tell the stories of distinguished women scientists at the world level

July 25, 2011

A total of 439 works were presented in the competition on Reports on Great Women Scientists organized by the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CEDENNA) and the EXPLORA program of CONICYT. Students from all over the country became reporters to learn about women who revolutionized the direction of science in the 19th and 20th centuries. The results of the contest will be announced in September, 2011.

In 2009, Marie Curie was voted the most influential woman in science through a survey conducted by the journal The New Scientist, the Women in Science Program of L’Oréal-Unesco and the United Kingdom Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. This year 2011 has been declared the International Year of Scientific Women in honor of the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie being awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Stories like that of Marie Curie were told by 439 students in the content on Reports on Great Women Scientist, which seeks to give more visibility to the importance of women in science and the leading role they have had in the development of knowledge.

The event, organized by the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, CEDENNA, and the EXPLORA Program of CONICYT, invited secondary students (male and female) from all over the country to become restless journalists and write reports on distinguished women researchers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The response was immediate. Students from all the regions, from Arica to Punta Arenas presented surprising and moving stories of women overcame the limits of their age and asked the why of things, often researching in the context of adversity.

It should be noted that 34% of the works presented were written by boys, while the remaining 66% were written by girls. The women scientists who were most often the subjects were Marie Curie, Gertrude Belle Elion, Maria Mitchell and Virginia Apgar, and special attention to the Chilean scientist María Teresa Ruiz.

This contest is the second joint initiative of CEDENNA and CONICYT, following the contest for Mini-Biographies of Great Women Scientists, which took place in 2010 and involved students from all other the country.

For the Director of the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Dora Altbir, it is possible for women to do science. “Many women do not believe that science is a career possibility and if we succeed with this successful contest that gives more visibility to the efforts, perseverance and talent with which many women have succeeded in distinguishing themselves in their respective areas, we believe that we can show this possibility is a reality. Thus, in the future we will have not one but rather hundreds of Marie Curies dedicating their lives to scientific research”, stated the director of CEDENNA, the Center of USACH that has promoted this initiative with the support of the EXPLORA program of CONICYT.

The director of the EXPLORA program, José Santiago Arellano, adds that this was a unique opportunity for young people to immerse themselves in these lives and became reporters of history, valuing the strength of women, who in many cases overcame the prejudices of their times and succeeded in finding knowledge that has changed history.

CEDENNA and its dissemination activities in science

The Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, CEDENNA, led by the University of Santiago (USACH) seeks to become the main center for research in Chile in this area. Scientists from the basic fields, experts in the application and transfer of technology, as well as businesses and private organizations, join together in an effort to contribute to the development of the country in different areas of knowledge related to nanotechnology.

CEDENNA has developed a broad range of dissemination activities, including talks, conferences, schools, seminars, exhibitions and contests such as the “Reports on Great Women Scientists” to present its work to the community in general, bring it closer to the community and generating greater interest in science among the young people in the country.

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