Mother’s Day: Being a Mother and a Scientist at the Same Time in Peru | Peru

Today, May 9 celebrates Mother’s Day and is a special date to highlight the efforts of mothers to develop professionally in an important sector: science.

According to Concytec figures as of May 7 this year, of 5,998 researchers, Only 1,859 women.

one of them Monica Santa Maria Foster, A biotechnologist, Vicente’s mother, and her 1 year and 8-month-old son.

It wasn’t easy to start her career as a scientist, because – according to her – in the early years of her career, when she was a biology graduate from La Molina National Agricultural University, it was even more complicated to have enough money. So you can keep doing science and fund your experiments.

This was until I traveled to the United States on a PhD scholarship in biotechnology from the University of North Carolina (NCSU).

In America, they already have abundant science, technology and research resources. Resources not only in equipment, infrastructure, reagents, and consumables, but also in logistical flexibility, colleagues and mentors with significant experience in various subjects. This allows you to move quickly and away in everything you do ‘He told the Andina news agency.

When he returned to Peru, the difficulties in the scientific mission were the same again due to limited resources, which generated frustration at first because he could not travel at the same speed and complexity as he was when he was working in the United States.

She adds that not only was limited resources the main problem she faced in developing as a scientist, but also at some point She went through brawny cases.

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“Feeling that they respect you and take you seriously intellectually is something that does not always exist in Peru. But this is slowly changing. Therefore, it is important to visualize academic and intellectual excellence for many Peruvian women. Gender is not a determining factor for excellence in any aspect of human knowledge.” finish.

Time that cannot be deferred and cannot be compensated

The Peruvian scholar has prioritized her professional development, earning her PhD in the United States thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. He then returned to Peru to co-establish his food biotechnology company Until she turned 35 and decided to be a mother.

He noted that giving his son time is an indispensable matter of urgency. And you have to make decisions: setting priorities.

“I understand that as they grow, little by little, motherhood becomes more manageable (my nights are less bad!), Which makes it easy to dedicate the best to both tasks.” Researcher says.

“Certainly, as a parent, you cannot devote the same amount of time to work and research, which is often very demanding. This has a cost in scientific production that you can achieve, but it is a commitment to bear.” Continuous.

at the moment, The scientist is leading a project that seeks to discover SARS-CoV-2, the cause of covid-19, in wastewater. Some studies indicate that a wastewater test can detect the virus before the first cases of the disease are reported in the community.

Check with her team from the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) and the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation. The project – which is funded by the Swiss Cooperation Organization – is to be an additional tool in the fight against the epidemic. The wastewater data also take into account asymptomatic cases, which are often not counted, ” Dr Monica Santa Maria, also the Director of Research at UTEC, explains.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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