On May 19, we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Science Movement in Panama, an initiative spontaneously born to popularize science and ensure sustainable support for research in all of its campuses in Panama. Today, in all countries, the health crisis resulting from Covid-19 has brought our attention to just how important science is in tackling a pandemic of this scale. Moreover, he highlighted the importance of a thriving scientific ecosystem to deal with future crises.
Within months of encountering this infectious pathogen for the first time, researchers around the world embarked on collaborations that have produced breakthroughs at an unprecedented rate. Never before has so many experts in so many countries have focused simultaneously on a single topic of such urgency and determination. This tremendous response to finding a solution that will save as many lives as possible has made us feel proud of our peers, especially all the experts based in Panama, along with our international colleagues.
But in addition to the research conducted in this period, what we hope most as a scientific movement is to contribute to mitigating the impact of the epidemic through evidence-based scientific communication. The knowledge gained through professional scientific sources, transmitted and translated to the general public, is essential to understanding the basic concepts of Covid-19, and advances in its treatment and prevention. In this health crisis, scientific communication has become a powerful tool for managing public health. On the one hand, we also learned that false or misleading information can be extremely difficult to confront, and put lives at risk.
Just over a year into the pandemic, we discovered innovative solutions, including social and behavioral measures, to live with this virus in the long term. These innovations fueled by a global crisis highlight the fact that caring for the scientific environment is critical to becoming a country prepared for a future pandemic.
The author is a neuroscientist and founding member of Ciencia en Panamá