Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ada lovelace day

(este post vai ser em ingalês)

Someday, someone was taking a dump, and had this epiphany: what about a day to make an homage to all the women in science and technology? Great idea! And thus, this day was born! Since last year, at 24th March, the internet bloggers around the world are participating, by posting in their blogs something about any women that excelled in the field of Science and Technology, and that they feel that are in need of a voice. I am not keen of this kind of things. The first time I read about it, I closed the window within 5 seconds... But then, it made me wonder... If I was going to write something like that, I had no idea who the hell I will be talking about... The only chick I can remember is Madame Curie and she's long gone... hmmmm... Than, I decided: I am going to talk about myself!! :P And I subscribed!  
And here I am, posting what I pledged I would. I will be posting this on Ada's website, where you can learn all about Ada Lovelace and this day and can also read what many people all around the world are posting about it.
I did want to write about myself because I, for a period of 2 years, felt like a scientist! :P But since my results weren't really that spectacular (and those are kindda mandatory to be a relevant scientist), I changed my mind, and decided to write about another great chick, but none the less, a Portuguese one!! And that was even harder to find... A great scientist portuguese woman... :S The only one I could find, in a very long list of other famous great Portuguese people, was Benedita Barata da Rocha. And for that, she had won first prize: I am talking about this lady!
She is still alive (born in 1949) and living in France. She is a medical doctor, with a PhD in Immunology. I am no expert in immunology and won't be able to explain in detail what was that she demonstrate but, in a nut-shell, she was the first one to demonstrate that naive T cells required only the right major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricting molecule to survive; to expand, they also needed antigen (Tanchot, C., Lemonnier, F.A., Perarnau, B., Freitas, A.A. & Rocha, B. Science 276 : 2057-2062, 1997). She is the Research Director of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and runs an investigation unit in the Necker Institut, both in France. She won awards in Portugal and in France recognizing her achievements. Kudos!
It is a fact that Portugal is filled with great minds but unfortunately they are scattered all over the world. Someone who wants to be someone in the Science sphere, needs to get the hell out of Portugal. Unfortunately, with precarious work "contracts", the long and burocratic applications for the much needed fundings and the very low recognition that our scientific staff are doing amazing things, the Portuguese government is forcing great people to move away. They go for their PhD and don't come back. But who the hell am I to talk?? I also left the country for not providing the quality of life that I requested, demanded! Shame on you, Portugal!!
I guess I am drifting away from the point of this post... You, scientist women, shout out loud: We are here, and came to stay! Have a Happy Ada Lovelace Day!


Marta said...

podias muito bem ter falado de mim!! ah pois é!! e também há aquela da nova, Elvira Fortunato, que faz transístores em papel e que trabalha em Portugal!Já recebeu muitos prémios!!

tsf said...

ah é verdade, por acaso vi isso...oh pá, não me lembrei! Não há assim tantas... não me veio nenhuma à cabeça... fui ao google! :P Não é muito glamoroso, mas é o que há.
E tu, qd é q sais de Portugal? eheheh