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CIEMAT: Science Dating

On Friday, the 8th of November, the CIEMAT organized an event called science dating. Four of us, from Runnymede College assisted the opportunity to meet with real life scientists and researchers. The aim of the event is to give the opportunity to the younger generation to have a taste of the researcher life and learn more about science as it is the science week in Madrid, Spain. There were 8 researchers from a range of fields.

Irene Navarro - Biochemist - Environmental Department - Atmospheric contamination division.

Miguel Ángel Velasco - Physicist - Basic Investigation Department - Astrophysics division.

María Isabel Ortiz - Industrial Engineer - Fusion Department - Fusion technology division.

Daniel Garraín - Chemical Engineer - Energy Department - Energetic systems’ analysis unit.

Begoña de la Cruz Martínez - Physicist - Basic Investigation Department - Particle physics division.

Cristian Súarez - Veterinarian - Basic Investigation Department - Molecular oncology unit.

Almudena Bailador Ferreras - Biologist - Technology Department - Computer Systems Unit.

Diego Obradors - Physicist - Technology Department - Accelerators Division.

We started the day with a welcoming speech by the director of the CIEMAT. Afterwards, we had around 12 minutes with each of the scientists in groups of 10. Each of them passionately expressed their work and encouraged us to ask questions. For example, Súarez explained that he was no ordinary veterinarian but a biologist that investigated cancer development in animals. He then proceeded to take a DNA sample of one of us in a matter of 8 minutes. The girl had to place saliva in a tube, then add a biological detergent to break the cell walls and mix with an alcohol that separated out the DNA strands that are now visible to the naked eye.

After a brief lunch, Pablo García, a notorious physicist gave us a general presentation on his work and questions regarding the scientific world. He explained that after working in CERN many years and discovering along many others the Higg’s Boson (important physical particle discovery), he was now researching dark matter.

The team of scientists all encouraged us to pursue our passions in the scientific field and to not keep in mind the gender bias that there is sometimes associated with for example, engineering. Furthermore, they suggested we can come in the future to visit or other events and that this was a center aiming to boost the scientific importance in this generation.

Laura L, Year 12

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