For six years now, science in Panama has encouraged the use and development of science for the benefit of our society. Our members have supported public policy, published hundreds of articles, given talks at thousands of conferences and organized iconic events, such as Girl and Women in Science Day and the Science Walk.
All this activity also seeks to contribute to Panama having a prominent role in global scientific activity. Although there is still a long way to go, it is important to remember that those who do not know where they are going will hardly know which way to go. Our country has the potential to achieve such a goal. Here, the desire to find solutions is combined with the presence of children with a natural vocation for science, who experiment with their own hands, try everything and learn to learn by themselves.
However, the education that is offered to our children cuts this curiosity into line with the outdated molds of education. This is not the fault of the students or teachers. It is a global challenge faced by people who have been trained for 20 years and who are preparing the new generation for a world that does not yet exist. This is an opportunity.
Those who remain curious are turning to scholarly careers with financial constraints and a lack of innovative academic curricula. Science is advancing at a tremendous speed and spreading its achievements through publications primarily written in English, the standard language of science. However, our students do not learn the technical level of English to read and understand a book written in this language. This is another opportunity.
However, what parents care about most is job opportunities. This is also an opportunity for government, private companies, and NGOs to collaborate to make science a productive force: technology, open data, application in evidence-based policies, and the sky is the limit.
The future of science in Panama is promising and challenging at the same time. Our members work every day for a better world. Congratulations on this anniversary.
The author is a medical epidemiologist and member of the sciences in Panama