How do you communicate scientific knowledge to people who may not be as well-versed in the sciences as you are? This is the challenge that Navarro deals with everyday as a science communicator in the Philippines. Though she originally studied to be a molecular biologist at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Navarro has since dedicated her time to advocating for science communication through speaking at events and social media, while also teaching in UP-Diliman and De La Salle University-Manila.
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The GapSummit Conference held last week at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT was one of the most overwhelming yet humbling experiences in my life. Coming from the Philippines, it’s rare to have the opportunity to learn from world-class speakers who are literally the BEST in their field (like Dr. George Church, father of synthetic biology and Dr. Philip Sharp, Nobel Prize winner for discovering RNA splicing). Where else would I also get the chance to have lunch and discuss diversity in STEM with none other than Dr. Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief of Nature? It’s experiences like these that remind me of how far I have yet to go in my own scientific career, and how excited I am for my journey. . It was especially validating to hear most, if not all, of the speakers after every single panel emphasize the importance of science communication. Navigating my way as a science communicator in a country where the field is especially nascent has been a struggle ngl and almost everyday I question my decision to go into sci com. But hearing industry experts say that sci com is important over and over and over again reaffirms that I made the right choice. If only the Philippines had more opportunities for science communicators hahaha. . It was also absolutely fantastic to meet brilliant minds from all over the world. Everyone was so open to sharing experiences and listening to each other’s stories. I hope we can work together to elevate biotechnology in the future. Thank you so much to the GapSummit team for organizing this event and giving people like me opportunities to participate! It truly means a lot to represent the Philippines on such a high-level stage, and I hope I made my country proud 🇵🇭 . And finally to end this overly long and gushy post – to all scientists/sci commers who follow me: APPLY FOR NEXT YEAR’S CONFERENCE! It will be held in April 2020 at the University of Cambridge and if it’s even half as amazing as this year’s conference, then it’s gonna be 🔥🔥🔥