In our 5 questions series we talk to our Pint of Science Country Directors. Today we meet Dr Antonieta Rodríguez de Olmos and Dr Romina Casadevall who run Pint of Science Argentina and are joining us for the first time in 2020.
1. What’s your background, who are you?
Antonieta: I’m 33 years old and I’m from Salta, Argentina. I’m a biotechnologist and I have a PhD in Biological Science. For the last 7 years I’ve been working in scientific research at CERELA-CONICET, studying lactic acid bacteria for new food product development. During this time, I’ve participated in different science dissemination events. Today, I’m working in technology transfer and I’m coordinator of Allbiotech in Argentina, a nonprofit organization related to the promotion of biotechnology in Latin America as an economic and social development engine. Communication is a key issue in all of these activities.
Romina: I'm 34 years old, I live in Rosario, Argentina. I have a degree in Biotechnology, a PhD in Biology and some courses in Business and Administration. For the last 5 years I've been working in the field of technology transfer and biotech-based companies’ creation. Firstly for CONICET, the main science-related organization in Argentina, and more recently as part of GRIDX, a science-based company builder. All these years showed me that in academia we really need to properly communicate what we do and the impact of it, because if not, we cannot connect deeply with society and we stay in our own world.
2. How did you hear about Pint of Science and what made you decide that you needed to bring this to your country / run this nationally?
Antonieta: I heard about Pint of Science from colleagues that participated in other countries or told me about the festival. I think that is an excellent initiative to take science to people. During my scientific work, I realized that people want to know what we are doing and what the main scientific discoveries in the world are. As scientists we know how to get this information but others don’t. I feel Pint of Science brings the opportunity to share scientific information in a fun way for all people and also in many places - not just the most important cities or capitals. I want science to reach all people, not just paper readers.
Romina: I found it on Twitter and then did some research. I work every day in the intersection between science, companies, investors and government so I see very clearly the need to close the gap between academia and "the real world". Even if this has been getting better in the last few years, in Argentina, there is still a long way to go for people to understand scientists and scientists to see how they can impact peoples' lives with their research and work. I think that Pint of Science is a great idea because it runs in friendly places and the focus is in the way the science is communicated, which is a key point. I have noticed many times that people outside academia are fascinated with what is being done in their own cities and they didn't even know it was happening. Finally, the biggest technology changes humanity will see in next decades will be more and more related to scientific developments so I think science has to become an everyday topic for people.
3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in Pint of Science?
This is our first year in Pint of Science, so we can’t answer this question yet! However, we are anxious to see this festival all over Argentina.
4. Tell us about a Pint of Science event or experience that really moved you and why?
See question 3 above!
5. What’s your favourite science subject and which drink would you pair it with ?
Antonieta: As a biotechnologist, my favourite science area is “nature” in general, but I really love microbiology, and fermented drinks match with, such as wine (in winter) or beer (in summer) ☺
Romina: I love biology, of course, but learning about topics related to the universe and planets is my favorite science subject.
Bonus question : what do you do in your free time?
Antonieta: In my free time I play football and also do CrossFit. Besides this, I also meet friends and family!
Romina: I do Ashtanga Yoga, love cooking, and love hiking in the mountains when I go on holiday. I also play a lot with my two kids, meet friends and family.
Pint of Science Argentina can be found at pintofsciencear.com