The internal briefing of MELON on communication and outreach activities is previewed for January 2021

Who is a Scientist?


Initiative ROOTS: Talk for kids of 8 -12 years old

October 3rd 2020, Dr. Cynthia Quinteros, a member of MELON research project, presented an overview of the scientific life from the perspective of her own personal experiences. The presentation, organized in frame of the program ROOT, was devoted to unveil some myths regarding the archetypical figure of a scientist by the presentation of a real-life example, a woman scientist educated in a foreign in-development country. The talk was conducted in English with simultaneous translation to Dutch, and accompanied by an accordingly designed presentation. The engagement of the kids in the activity was evaluated as positive based on the questions formulated after the talk. The initiative ROOTS consists of a multilingual science programme for kids of 8 -12 years old and supported by the University of Groningen. Its main goal aimed to impact in the university’s neighbouring communities by promoting scientific vocations.

School of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

October 2020. MELON researchers from INN-CNEA/CONICET-BA have co-organized the School of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2020, oriented in this occasion to health and biology. The School took place between October 19-28 th . Lectures on “Thin films growth and applications” and “Magnetic characterization” were given by Dr. Rubi and Dr. Steren. In total, around 150 graduate students from different Argentinean and Latin American institutions attended. The School was given in virtual mode through Google Meet platform and was also broadcasted in YouTube for non-registered participants, the program is given at the web--site of the school

The week of science 2020 (Argentina)

Organized by the National Argentinean Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, between November 9th and 20th, 2020 the 18th week of science was conducted. It comprises a series of activities devoted to different audiences in which school teachers, scientists, and university professors join efforts to promote scientific topics and interests among young people. Universities and research institutions are invited by the National Ministry to propose a variety of activities which are then organized in a schedule for the teachers, the students themselves or the families of kids and teenagers to enroll in those of their preference. http://www.semanadelaciencia.mincyt.gob.ar/

Cynthia Quinteros with Gabriel Sanca from the University of Groningen (at Buenos Aires in a MELON secondment) and from the University of San Martín, proposed and organized an activity devoted to playing with the assistant usually installed in mobile devices to: marvel with the current state of some technologies (in this case Machine Learning), to wonder about how it is feed with information, and to be conscious about the biases that could imply due to the human nature that programs them.

The aim is to take advantage of technology, to promote a critical insight on the technology, to apply the scientific methodology to deal with information and to promote an active attitude regarding the appropriation of opinions that overwhelm us so frequently (mainly as adults but not limited to us).

The activity consisted of two virtual meetings where we presented and wrapped up the proposal. The first one is available in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQxObCjfptg The second one can be found in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FttZ6uS56g8

In between the two live YouTube streams, there was an activity to be performed which consisted of using an assistant to ask questions. The challenge was to choose questions such that the answers cannot be easily distinguished from a human opinion. Each participant should write down the question asked and two answers: one by the assistant itself and one by a person. The intention was to upload them on a Paddlet screen https://padlet.com/ufocpq/3dufnfc0ajqftksz such that other participants should guess which was the answer by the assistant. As it can be seen, there were two ways of participating in the challenge. Either by thinking of the questions and providing the question and the two answers for the others to guess or by guessing which was the answer by the non-human entity.

During the second live streaming we took advantage of the questions posed and draw attention to the differences in language among others.

“Laboratorio 0”, From Boulogne to neuromorphic computing

July 18th, 2020, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA) – Buenos Aires, Argentina, on-line.

A virtual talk "From Boulogne to neuromorphic computing and a particular double life " for advanced secondary students was given in Centro Atómico, Argentina, by Dr. Cynthia Quinteros, seconded from University of Groningen to Buenos Aires. These activities have been organized from the last 30 years, and aim to both trigger scientific vocation in teenagers and disseminate CONICET-CNEA research activities to the society. The presentation was advertised in social newtorks such as Instagram. More then 40 pupils virtually visited the lecture.