USF Health Panama supports March for Science

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On April 22, Panamanian scientists and friends of science joined the global movement March for Science as a reminder of the role that science plays in our lives.

USF Health in Panama played a major role catalyzing these events in the country. (Photo courtesy of Arturo Rebollón)

USF Health in Panama, along with the movement Ciencia en Panamá (Science in Panama), and the Panamanian Society for the advancement of science organized a full day of science-related activities at the Biomuseum in Panama.

These activities included a science fair, three lectures about environment protection, and the March for Science in Panama.

March participators exit the Biomuseum. (Photo courtesy of Arturo Rebollón)

Prior to these events College of Public Health doctoral student Dr. Arturo Rebollón participated in a Facebook Live session with scientists from all over Latin America discussing their motivation to participate in the March for Science.

“This was an unbelievable event; scientists from different backgrounds working together to promote the use of science for decision-making, innovation, and general well-being,” said Rebollón. “The general idea was to find a common ground to keep improving research settings that benefits the population in Panama.”

(From left): Director of program development at USF’s COPH in Panama Gladys Bernett, COPH alumna Morgan Hess-Holtz, USF Health Panama staff member Jeanette Galvez, COPH assistant professor Dr. Arlene Calvo, and COPH doctoral student Dr. Arturo Rebollón. (Photo courtesy of Arturo Rebollón)

The unprecedented event drew hundreds of supporters aiming to increase awareness of the importance of science in their life, according to Rebollón.

“Participating in the March for Science at an international setting is invaluable. We hope this movement assists in creating awareness of the importance of science in low and middle Income countries,” said Dr. Arlene Calvo, assistant professor in the Departments of Community and Family Health and Global Health.

“Sin ciencia no hay salud (without science there is no health) were some of the chants of the 400 plus crowd during the walk,” said Gladys Bernett, director of program development at USF’s College of Public Health in Panama.

USF Health Panama is currently working with USF’s College of Education on various initiatives to improve the quality of science education in Panama, according to Bernettt.

“These programs, sponsored by Panama’s science funding agency, SENACYT, will hopefully help inspire the next generation of global leaders,” Bernett said.

The USF Health Panama office led the initiative along with the Panamanian Society for the Advancement of Science, Gorgas Memorial Institute, Dr. Alex TV, INDICASAT AIP, Deveaux Foundation, ESRI Panama, City of Knowledge Foundation, American College of Physicians, CENAMEP AIP, Panamanian College of Civil INFOPLAZAS AIP, SENACYT and Ayudinga.

“Science is, probably, the most important activity for progress and sustainability of humanity in the planet. Science has provided enormous contributions and it is necessary for continuous advancement of knowledge and technology. Human development in our country is closely related with education, and scientific activities such as research, innovation and development,” said Dr. Néstor Sosa, Director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute and USF Morsani College of Medicine affiliate faculty.

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Story by Dr. Arturo Rebollón, USF College of Public Health