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“Women do science, but they don’t hold management positions”

A vindication of science from science, with special attention to the role of women. Two of the country’s main researchers, Margarita del Val, biologist from the CSIC Severa Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology, and María Blasco, director of the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), announced the role of science and research. In society, especially after the coronavirus crisis, during the science table at the X anniversary festival of elDiario.es.

The researchers pointed out that science in this country is primarily carried out by women, although sometimes this does not only translate into leadership positions and therefore does not have as much visibility. “It is quite unknown that in many scientific careers, at least in all biomedicine, the majority are women. At CNIO, 70% are women,” Blasko said. “Women create science, but they don’t end up in management positions,” she added.

The two scientists appreciated the positive moment the sector is experiencing, although it has come at the cost of the global pandemic. “The power of science has been revealed. Faced with the circumstances that affected the countries, science came to the rescue,” Blasko assessed.

Del Val, who has become one of the social benchmarks, especially in the early stages of the coronavirus crisis, emphasized that the speed with which it was possible to develop vaccines against COVID is due to the fact that much of the road was covered earlier, because for the first time there was a global response to the problem , which affected all countries. “This is the first example in human history where many governments have coordinated to provide the funding needed to get vaccines out there,” he said. “I hope that the power of science is a fixed, global, coordinated mechanism that can provide global answers.” But in no case, to impulses or emergency strikes. “It’s not for money, you have to build it,” he warned.

This whole situation gave him an opportunity to criticize the past policies in Spain. “When it was unstable in Spain, science was considered a luxury, it was so subsidized, and when that happens and a crisis comes, it’s the first thing that stops,” he lamented. So science does not progress: “A time of stability is needed to maintain a solid research body, not people who fight against the elements, but to have a base that does not move, which is in contact with the pharmaceutical sector, hospitals, so that we can act on the epidemic.

Scientists recall that vaccines against the coronavirus were possible because the messenger RNA technology on which they were based was developed and it was not necessary to start from scratch. “BioNTech [una de las empresas que acabó desarrollando una vacuna contra la COVID] was developing anti-cancer vaccines using the same technology,” Blasko explained. And this path promises more progress in other areas.

“Theoretically we could use the same gene to make the immune system develop cells and we could also end up with cancer vaccines,” he predicted.

Some of the progress and mentality brought about by the pandemic of the virus, which has also contributed to other subsequent situations, such as the monkey pox of recent weeks, have been appreciated by both scientists and the population with a different mentality. .

“Vaccines are very good, the situation is very different and the public has reacted differently. People at risk monkey flower They knew the risks, they were vaccinated and they flattened the curve, and that’s important. This knowledge remained,” he said.

Source: El Diario

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