‘Som recerca’ has been published. The documentary from the research to the society.

Hope, persistence, creativity and commitment are the reference points in the research carried out by 5.000 researchers every day at the University of Barcelona, and are also the main values highlighted in the video Som recercaa, a short documentary driven by the Vice-rector’s office of Research, Innovation and Transference to open the doors of the science and research world of the University of Barcelona to society. This audiovisual work, showing different stages of the professional life of a researcher, aims to emphasize the relevance of basic research and knowledge transfer to promote the progress of social, economic and cultural welfare.


Som recerca is an invitation to discover how university research is a strategy element to respond to the demands of a society which is continuously changing and to improve the life quality of citizenship. Through the audiovisual picture of a bunch of experts from different research fields at the University of Barcelona,Som recerca reminds us of the effort made by scientists who turn research into a motor of social, economic and cultural change, encourage vocations among youngsters and contribute to build a more trained society, sensitive and responsible towards the challenges of a globalized world.


Eagerness to defend the environment


There are more and more threats to the natural ecosystems around the world. Improving the understanding of the natural systems and promoting social sensitiveness towards environmental problems are challenges that go further than academic and scientific environments, and involve all people. “Research is probably the curiosity to know about everything surrounding you. In my case, I think the environment is what motivates me, what surrounds me, and I think it is the focus of everything we do, eventually”, says the researcher Maria Soria, during a sampling of the scientific project RIU.net, an initiative by the research group Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) of the UB to preserve and improve the ecological status of rivers in Catalonia.


While she gets closer to the river wearing rain boots, Maria says “For me, hope is basic. It is the basis of everything. I remember walking around the Pyrenees with my parents and seeing treeless forests, and thinking it was very unfair. The environment is suffering from a lot of injustices but without that hope we cannot change the world”.


Fighting against neurodegenerative diseases with perseverance


Every drug that gets to a client is the result of a long process –and expensive- which has the basic research of lots of scientific teams as a starting point. “Research is up to a certain point, a way of understanding life, because it is about asking about what is established. That is, not being ok with what we already know and trying to go further”, says the researcher Andrés Miguez, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the UB and August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS).


Finding new drugs to treat Huntington’s disease and other pathologies is one of the objectives of the work by Andrés Miguez, member of the Consolidated Research Group of Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases of the UB. This is a journey full of obstacles, effort and gratitude, which according to Miguez seems to share elements from the thinking of the writer Borges, prolific creator of literature universes: “In particular, the order and adventure, because on the one hand, in research it is necessary to be constant, disciplined, perseverant, but at the same time we have to discover new paths, which enables us to advance”.


Mapping the Milky Way with creativity


If you want to see the cosmos through the eyes of a scientist, “you have to be creative, you have to have ideas. I link creativity to the ideas of looking for the question you want to solve, I mean, your project. You have to be creative lots of times so you do something different from the others, and you are the leader in your field”, says Mercè Romero, a researcher of the team of the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB) which takes part in Gaia, the most precise astrometry mission of the European Spatial Agency (ESA) which proposes creating the most precise star map of the Milky Way.


Astronomy is linked to the history of the oldest civilizations and scientific and cultural progress of humanity. Gaia mission, a giant step to build the map of the Universe, will answer lots of open doubts on the origins and evolution of our galaxy. With the telescope from Fabra Observatory behind him, Professor Xavier Luri (ICCUB-UB), member of the Gaia project, says that “research, at first, is a vocation at a personal level. Then it is a job, obviously, and I work on this. Thirdly, I think it is a service, public service: we do this for society. Now research doesn’t make sense without society”.


Commitment to solve learning difficulties


Leaving no kids behind in the reading learning, a basic skill for human communication and personal development: this is the essential mission of the research line directed by Professor Josep Maria Sopena at the Faculty of Psychology of the UB. According to Sopena, “research is finding problems important to solve because they can help us understanding the world in a better way, and it is a passion. I guess this is one of the things I like the most in this life”.


Solving difficulties and make kids recover their confidence and enjoying reading is the focus of the research by Professor Sopena leading Binding, a research project of the University of Barcelona to develop tools to acquire and improve reading skills, designed specifically for people with reading difficulties and kids. According to Professor Sopena, “the great satisfaction we have in the team is to see how kids who had difficulties and were sa, turn into happy children willing to learn”.


The video Som recerca, which was created by the team of the Audio-visuals Unit of the University of Barcelona, can be seen in this link.


Source: Universitat de Barcelona news



Tuesday, 4 October, 2016