Alejandro Requena Menéndez, a researcher at the Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), a joint centre of the University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), will represent Spain in the international final of the first edition of the Solo de Ciencia science monologue contest since he won first place in the national final that took place this Friday, June 23 at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.
Through his monologue "En busca del disco duro definitivo", he has shared the latest advances in biological hard drives, which make it possible to introduce coded information, such as an image, into the DNA of a cell with the aim of storing data for posterity. Ángela Varela Neila, research support technician at the University of Burgos’ Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit, winner of the public award and second in the jury award, will also participate in the final.
Alejandro Requena works on various biotechnology and synthetic biology projects at I2SysBio. He was trained in Biotechnology at the University of Valencia and his Final Degree Project was about the construction of artificial genetic regulation systems. He also obtained the Master’s Degree in Biotechnology and studied the ability of ligninolytic fungi to degrade macroplastics of daily use and additives such as bisphenol A. Alejandro Requena began in dissemination in 2022, with the second prize in the II Interuniversity Competition for Science Dissemination (EventEX).
In the event, chaired by Queen Letizia, in charge of presenting the award with the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, to the winner of the contest, the two stand-up speakers who have been in second and third position in the contest have also been announced: Ángela Varela, with her monologue entitled " El ojito derecho de la tribu ", and Stephanie Aparicio, who has interpreted " Ahogados en nutrientes ". Ángela Varela has also won the popular vote award.
The Solo de Ciencia contest is a FECYT initiative that was created with the aim of involving and training researchers in scientific dissemination from the early stages of their professional careers. In addition, it represents an exceptional opportunity to value the use of Spanish as a language of science communication through an innovative, entertaining and close format with the general public.
The winner of this edition has been chosen by a multidisciplinary jury among eight finalists who were selected in the semi-final held in Barcelona on April 21. Alejandro Requena will participate next autumn in the international final of Solo de Ciencia, which will bring together representatives of other Ibero-American countries where, thanks to the collaboration of UNESCO, this science dissemination initiative is being promoted.
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