Outreach

Outreach

The Scientific Communication and Culture Unit (UCCC) of the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Sols-Morreale (IIBM) was created at the end of 2021. This Unit is committed to enhance the communication and dissemination of the research work of all the IIBM staff. From the UCCC we promote, advise, coordinate and disseminate both outreach activities and scientific communication.

We have the challenge of contributing to improving the scientific culture and awareness of the comunity, by bring our research to the whole society in a didactic and entertaining way. In particular, we are very involved with students, from elementary to high school, via programs that help them appreciate, from a young age, the relevance of science for the future of our society.

Contact person(s):

  • Belén Peral (Contact telephone: 915854370).
  • José M. Cosgaya.
  • Sandra Franco Caspueñas (for all social network matters).
  • Contact Email: comunicacion@iib.uam.es.
  • X: @IIBmCSICUAM.

 

OUTREACH INITIATIVES AT THE IIBM

The IIBM organizes and participates in multiple outreach initiatives, some of them include:

CSIC SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCES CATALOG

This Catalogue is aimed at the Education System of the Community of Madrid, mainly at Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate students. Speakers include the CSIC scientific community (at all levels), from research professors to pre-doctoral students. The Catalogue is coordinated by the CSIC Delegation in the Community of Madrid. For years, the IIBM has been involved in this initiative, in particular Juan Bernal, María Monsalve, Isabel Varela and Belén Peral.

During the year 2023 the Catalogue of Conferences has also been offered to other interested institutions such as the National Museum of Science and Technology (MUNCYT), the "Nave de Villaverde", Cultural Centres and Libraries. In this context, Belén Peral was invited to the Public Library "José Hierro" on April, 2023 in representation of the IIBM.

In the academic year 2023-24, the number of scientific-dissemination lectures given by members of the IIBM scientific community has increased considerably. Thus, in the new Catalogue published for the years 2023-2025, José Orgaz, Soledad Bárez, Jorge Melones, María Alieva, Jesús Pacheco, Ángela Martínez-Valverde, Silvia Murillo, Alberto Bartolomé, Lisardo Boscá, Manolo Izquierdo and Rafael Garesse, as well as Isabel Varela, María Monsalve and Belén Peral have been included.

Science in the Neighbourhood

Science in the Neighbourhood is a science outreach initiative of the Scientific Culture and Citizen Science Unit of the CSIC. It aims to bring science to the most vulnerable neighbourhoods of Madrid. In the 2022-23 academic year, 12 secondary schools, an Adult Education Centre (CEPA), a Therapeutic Education Centre and a Centre for the Elderly took part. The IIBM joined this initiative for the first time in the academic year 2022-23. Members of the IIBM participated with three off-site conferences and a guided visit to our Institute.

The scientific tour was carried out in the Sebastián Cerdán Biomedical NMR Service. Students from IES Arcipreste de Hita came to our Institute.

Dr. Adrián Palencia, from Dr. Bruno Sainz's group, gave an informative conference at IES Conde de Orgaz to talk about rare diseases. Dr. Belén Peral visited two IES and one CEPA. In IES Ciudad de los Ángeles and in IES Madrid Sur she gave a lecture on skills to avoid/relieve stress and in CEPA Aluche she presented a conference on good habits for healthy ageing.

Rare Disease Day

Since 2008, World Rare Disease Day has been commemorated on 28 February to raise awareness in the society of the existence of rare diseases, and to make people suffering from these rare pathologies more visible, so that they can receive a diagnosis as soon as possible and thus lead a better life.

At the IIBM, all members of the Rare Diseases Department, which includes eleven groups working on rare diseases, met for the first time on 28 February 2023 in order to take a "family" photo and tell us about their research.

READ MORE

International Day for Women and Girls in Science

February 11th marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In 2015, the United Nations Organitation established this international day to recognise the role of women and girls in science.

In the year 2022 we participated extensively in the 11F initiative.

READ MORE

In 2023, the UCCC also promoted the celebration of this International Day. The proposals of the IIBM researchers were very varied: workshops for children, conferences, wine and neuroscience, meetings with scientists, interviews and social networks. Twenty-four members of the IIBM, belonging to 13 research groups, carried out 19 outreach activities in the 2023 11F campaign, far exceeding the activities proposed for the 2022 11F.

READ MORE

PROGRAM 4TH YEAR OF SECONDARY SCHOOL-BUSINESS

This programme, organised by the Community of Madrid, aims to bring the "world of work" closer to students through one-week stays in companies and scientific institutions, such as CSIC centres.

In the 2022 call, two research groups participated in this activity. The groups of María Monsalve and Ángela Martínez Valverde hosted three students.

READ MORE

In 2023, four research groups were encouraged to participate in this event: the groups of Dr Isabel Sánchez, Dr María Monsalve and Dr Ángela Martínez-Valverde, as well as Teresa Navarro from the Sebastián Cerdán Biomedical NMR Service. All of them invited seven students to spend a week in their laboratories.

READ MORE

SPANISH BIOLOGY OLYMPIAD

The Biology Olympiad competition is held annually and involves students in the 2nd year high school students from each region. The winners then compete at the national level. The  "Olympian" winners get is to spend a week doing research in a Biology and Biomedicine laboratory.

In the 2022 call, the research groups of Dr Juan Manuel Zapata and Dr Ángela Martínez Valverde welcomed two "Olympic" students from the province of Barcelona.

READ MORE

In 2023, the IIBM also participated in the XVIII Spanish Biology Olympics. The groups of Dr Juan Manuel Zapata and Dr José Orgaz hosted two students from the provinces of Badajoz and Madrid, respectively.

READ MORE

SCIENTIST IN TRAINEESHIP

The CSIC and the Spanish Association for the Advancement of Science (AEAC) developed a pilot project in the Community of Madrid to foster scientific talent in students from schools located in vulnerable areas of the Community.

Dr. María Monsalve participated in this pilot project. She visited the Miguel Delibes Secondary School (IES) in Ciudad Lineal where she explained her research project at the IIBM to the students. In addition, as part of this project, two students from this secondary school spent a week in Dr. Monsalve's laboratory.

READ MORE

In 2023, four research groups participated in the "Scientists in practice" programme, three more than in 2022. In addition to María Monsalve's group, researchers Soledad Bárez, Juan Manuel Zapata and Ángela Martínez-Valverde participated in this activity, and went to the assigned IES to talk about their respective projects. Subsequently, they hosted eight students from these IES for a week at the IIBM.

READ MORE

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY WEEK

Every year in November, the doors of all research centres across the country open to commemorate Science and Technology Week. The CSIC encourages its institutes to organise informative activities for non-scientist in order to promote interest of our society in science.

A large number of IIBM researchers, both from the scientific and technical services and from the research groups, took part in Science and Technology Week 2022. Eight activities, including scientific workshops, conferences and scientific tours, brought the science of the IIBM closer to our citizens, both adults and young people. Although we organized more events focused on school students, our mission is to stimulate scientific vocations at all levels of our society.

READ MORE

The next SCT call will be held in November 2023 and six activities have already been scheduled and are announced on the CSIC website. More activities will be announced before November 2023.

EUROPEAN RESEARCHERS' NIGHT

Researchers' Night is a European celebration in which science is made accessible to the public through various scientific and cultural activities, the aim of which is to raise awareness of the role of researchers and the importance of this work for the well-being of society. This initiative, started in 2006, is currently held in 350 European cities.

In autumn 2021, Dr Ricardo Escalante's research group presented an activity entitled: "The Dicty amoeba helps us to study rare diseases".

The CSIC centres on the campus of the Autonomous University of Madrid, where the IIBM is located, organised two events for the European Researchers' Night, at the Casa Encendida and at the CSIC headquarters. The IIBM contributed with the activity "Escape Road: in search of Nobel and non-Nobel women scientists". 

Also, in the context of the European Science Night event, Dr. Alberto Muñoz participated in the course "Colon cancer: reality and expectations".

READ MORE

OTHER INITIATIVES

In addition, other outreach events take place at the IIBM, most of them published on our social media Twitter account: @IIBmCSICUAM.

Some of the activities that took place in 2022 include:

Interviews in different media outlets, such as radio, where Ana Aranda was interviewed about the action of hormones (Radio Euskadi), or Ana Guadaño who spoke in Radio Libertad about the Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome. In the written press, El Mundo interviewed Juan Carlos López Gil. At the Madri+d Foundation, Gema Moreno Bueno was interviewed about her research work in breast and gynecological cancer.

A large number of IIBM researchers are very committed to scientific dissemination in schools, giving lectures to students in Secondary Schools (IES), such as the group of Ángela Martínez Valverde, Manuel Izquierdo or Belén Peral, or collaborating in a day of games for children, or carrying out workshops in primary schools

A good number of our researchers also participate in round tables, such as Isabel Varela's group or Alberto Muñoz, as well as in the production of popular science videos, or presntation of their outreach work in contests, such as Carmen Grijota, winner of the XI contest of outreach work of the Complutense University of Madrid, with the article that you can download here

Other researchers have submitted their outreach work to contests through Twitter threads, such as Elisa Fernández Núñez who won the first prize in the III Virtual Congress of Twitter threads organized by Desgranando Ciencia (@Sci_Granada), or Sandra Franco Caspueñas who won a well-deserved third place in #FallingWallsLab talking about Vestibular Schwannomas.

In 2023 we can highlight the following dissemination activities:

The activity in wich IIBM scientists are most involved in is outreach to educational centers. For example, Ana Monfort Vengut, Alejandro Samhan Arias and Óscar Martínez-Costa, Guillermo de Cárcer, Alberto BartoloméBelén Peral, Gema Moreno-Bueno, Alicia González-Martín and Gemma Ferrer, Paula Pallarola (from Alberto Bartolomé's group), Sandra Franco, Laura Doblado and María Monsalve. Manuel Izquierdo gave an informative talk at the "Nanotechnology comes to the Institute" lecture series of the 8th Festival of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Also, in this same cycle, Jesús Pacheco gave his lecture in two Educational Centres.

Conferences for the general public were held, for example, on Parkinson's disease, given by Dr. Isabel Lastres-Becker, or on Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome given by Marina Guillén and Víctor Valcárcel. Dr. Ricardo Sánchez-Prieto also gave an informative talk at the Villanueva de la Jara Day Centre.

We have participated in round tables and debates to discuss science. Isabel Varela took part in a round table to talk about rare diseases; Ramón Díaz Uriarte contributed his knowledge at the LifeHUB.CSIC symposium; Isabel Varela and Silvia Murillo spoke on World Hearing Day to talk about sign language. Alberto Muñoz illustrated health journalists and health communication professionals in a new event called "Science a Day".

In 2023 we have also participated in one of the most popular international informative events: Pint of Science. This year Dr. Gemma Domínguez came to the bar "La Lata de Cascorro", in Madrid, to talk about her research lines.

Several members of the IIBM have collaborated in books and journals, such as Marina Guillén (Ana Guadaño's group), who has collaborated in the journal "CSIC Investiga", in the 5th issue dedicated to the brain: "El cerebro. Desvelando los mecanismos del órgano más complejo" (the pdf can be downloaded here). Drs. Isabel Varela and Gemma Rodríguez-Tarduchy have contributed to a popular book: "Las moléculas que comemos", which was presented at the Residencia de Estudiantes del CSIC.

Other young researchers have used social networks to disseminate science, such as Marina Guillén, who was interviewed by the @sherezade_mr programme. Dr. Carmen Grijota has also participated in several podcasts.

At the IIBM we have also participated in important initiatives, such as the inclusive dissemination of science in different areas. Dr Manuel Izquierdo and Dr Belén Peral coordinated a visit to our Institute by secondary school students from the Fundación Colectivo Gitano. In this context, Sandra Franco Caspueñas took part in the "Disability Awareness Days" organised by the Árula School. Sandra prepared a "Twitter thread" to explain everything that happened in this initiative. The IIBM is very committed to the need to make scientific dissemination accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their physical, sensory or mental characteristics, age, socioeconomic status or educational level. To learn more about this purpose we will participate in the I Inclusive Science Congress, organised by the University of Alcalá and the CSIC.