What can you do (today) for science?


In a week when the planet is experiencing an exponential growth in coronavirus infections, the Ministry of Science has announced a reshaping of a scientific career path that the research community generally disapproves of. This is for one thing. On the other hand, central and autonomous governments They still don’t care much about scientific evidence Confusion about the course of the epidemic takes a seat next to us. That’s why I think it’s a good time to ask ourselves what we can do, today, for what has saved us, which is science.

Our species is a kind of Earth. However, due to our strength of mind, we have been able to meet the most dissonant challenges that nature poses. The ability developed to overcome adversity, using an ever-evolving scientific method, has made us colonizers and centenarians. In addition, the need for each generation to establish the role of science in our successes as a species is a historical constant.

On many occasions, friends, acquaintances and followers ask me what they can do to advance science. Obviously, not all of us want to be an active part of scientific research. However, in the same way that we all do not want to, and cannot be, elite athletes, but participate in the financing of sports by consuming events of this kind, Formulas exist to support science without having to deal with a pipette.

In addition to the well-known demand from politicians for genuine participation, every citizen can show their solidarity with research projects, as happens with victims of natural disasters or victims of poverty in many parts of the world. The great generosity of the Spanish community for social reasons is well known, but this does not happen when it comes to science. So I serve this humble column to motivate you in this regard.

“Without the knowledge that arose two decades ago, we would not have the technology to produce vaccines”

As the year comes to a close, we can sometimes make some adjustments that will deduct us from the next income statement. At this time many friends, including writer and politician Marta Rivera de la Cruz and his native Jose Ros Rodriguez, usually makes contributions to the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Hospital of La Paz in order to increase the fund of funds through which my projects in metastasis, sepsis and now Covid-19 are funded. No matter how small the donations, we know that big buildings are built with many small items.

It is possible that disinformation in this context does not help foster a spirit of solidarity with such a laudable cause as the one I mentioned earlier. Although the real reason probably lies in the lack of immediate results. By contributing money to build a children’s village or buy food, we can see the benefit of our labor in a short time. Knowing this did not happen. Its boiling prevents us from benefiting from our generosity.

However, we must bear in mind that without the seeds of knowledge created two decades ago, we would not have had the technology to produce the vaccines that today prevent deaths from Covid-19. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict which experience will be crucial to solving humanity’s problem in the future. It is best to encourage research in every way imaginable.

Spain has many non-profit associations and foundations that seek funding to fund research projects. Each of them is a potential recipient of individual donations that will increase the amounts of these projects, which is so necessary today and tomorrow. In addition to the institution of the institute that I direct (Foundation for Biomedical Research at Hospital La Paz), there is a large list of options.

For example: the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC), the CRIS Foundation, the FERO Foundation, the Spanish Association for Research in Cancer (ASEICA).

“To the pleasure we feel when we know we have done something useful adds the financial incentive associated with these donations”

They are all engaged, from different angles, in projects that try to increase the knowledge we have about this terrible disease. In the case of the La Paz Hospital Foundation, your donation can be allocated to a range of projects in the most diverse areas, from infectious diseases to metastases.

AECC dedicates its funds to work such as supporting patients and families as well as projects of great scientific scope. While CRIS aims specifically at finding solutions to childhood cancer, FERO supports junior researchers who are faced with the challenge of setting up a laboratory in this exciting field. In the case of ASEICA, this association advances careers and highlights scientists who are dedicated to examining the mysteries of this disease.

You already know that searching for information on the Internet about how to cooperate financially is easy. Remember, the fun you get when we know we’ve done something useful is the tax incentive associated with this type of donation. Take advantage of near the end of the year and Give yourself cooperation with your future and the future of humanity. Whatever your decision, I will always wait for you here, in this column where I intend, every week, to publish science, scientific policy and recent research in EL ESPAÑOL.

*** Eduardo López Collazo is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Health Research at the University Hospital of La Paz (IdiPAZ), Madrid.

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