América Valenzuela: “We are interested in the Higgs boson but not in who invented the refrigerator” | Science | EUROtoday

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América Valenzuela (Madrid, 47 years outdated) says that “science is in everything that surrounds us.” From a microscopic mud particle to the army engineering inside a microwave. She can also be within the guitar strings of the musicians who play within the streets of Mexico City – the place the interview takes place -, or within the shutter of the digicam that the photographer releases to take her portrait. The journalist and science communicator talks about her new e book The secret lifetime of your bathe head (Geoplanet), an entertaining journey by the totally different rooms of the home, wherein it explains all of the science that we don’t see and that makes our lives simpler. A world unknown to many who leads us to query the place window glass comes from, who invented the workplace chair, what the key of detergent is, what Teflon and the atomic bomb have in widespread or why there’s a man buried in Moon.

Ask. Who lives inside our bathe head?

Answer. A complete ecosystem. Scientists specialised in dwelling microlife have discovered indestructible fortresses of nematodes, micro organism and viruses that type a movie that doesn’t come off with widespread cleansing merchandise. It has additionally been noticed that some items of this movie can fall with the bathe jet and we will inhale them. At the second they don’t trigger any dysfunction as a result of we’re not their supreme host, however we should maintain our eyes on these microorganisms in case sooner or later they make a genetic change, they prefer to dwell in us and trigger us some illness.

P. The e book talks concerning the science now we have at dwelling, however the place does the inspiration to write down it come from?

R. It was throughout my transfer to Mexico. When establishing the brand new home I started to surprise how to decide on sure merchandise. And I started to delve into particulars that I had by no means thought-about and the historical past of the place all of the issues we use in our every day lives come from.

P. How lengthy did it take you to analysis the e book?

R. I say that this e book truly got here out because of Botox. I spent virtually three years writing little or no as a result of I had horrible complications, till a mom of considered one of my daughter's schoolmates really helpful Botox for the ache. I went to the dermatologist, she additionally really helpful Botox and I’ve by no means had a headache once more. From there, I took off and completed the e book in a yr.

P. And what historical past does Botox have?

R. Well, it’s a preparation primarily based on botulinum toxin, which in its pure type is the deadliest substance identified to science. The phrase botulinum comes from the phrase botulus which implies “sausage” or “sausage” in Latin. It is widespread in canned meats and to keep away from it, the preservatives nitrites and nitrates are used. A preparation primarily based on this toxin is used beneath the industrial title Botox to paralyze muscular tissues for aesthetic or medical functions.

P. What good is it if we all know extra concerning the science in our home?

R. I at all times say that not realizing what's in your home or how what's in your home works is like sleeping with a stranger. We have an interest within the Higgs boson however not in who invented the fridge and that can’t be.

P. What Mexican invention would you embody within the e book when you might?

R. The tacos. They are an excellent invention.

América Valenzuela on the streets of Mexico City, on March 26, 2024.
América Valenzuela on the streets of Mexico City, on March 26, 2024.Aggi Garduño

P. How random are scientific innovations and discoveries?

R. There are numerous innovations which might be the results of likelihood, but in addition of individuals's inventive impulse and the will to discover a resolution to one thing that could be a drawback. For instance, glass-ceramic supplies are the results of likelihood. A chemist from an organization specializing in glass was doing one thing that had nothing to do with it and we don't know if the oven was unsuitable or if he put it in unsuitable, however from that oven a glass got here out that was a cloth that was not identified till then. second: glass-ceramic supplies. And from there, he has ended up in our kitchens making us clear them in a brilliant quick and tremendous magical means.

P. Many of those innovations had been developed throughout the arms business, what does that inform us?

R. Well, every little thing serves a function. Many instances we despise funding in army analysis or area analysis and any scientific advance can at all times be translated right into a profit in our lives. Science is neither good nor dangerous, it has to do with folks's motivation and their shortcomings.

P. Technological advances have led us to eat extra and sooner. Do you assume we proceed to affiliate scientific and technological improvement with overproduction?

R. Step by step, we’re altering the laws and transferring in the direction of a round financial system system. We are realizing that we’re losing the planet, that it’s not sufficient and that we’re drowning in our personal rubbish. We have to go away the produce, spend and throw away mannequin.

P. Where do you assume the properties of the longer term are going?

R. They need to be sustainable, that's for certain, and more and more built-in into nature. Cities need to be restructured, there must be a change in cities, they can not proceed to be constructed across the automotive, they need to be for folks.

P. Do you assume that sooner or later we will have our fridge do the buying alone?

R. I hope not. I hope that we contact land and cease being so depending on expertise. That regardless of 5G and the Internet of Things, we return to what’s completed with our fingers. I hope that expertise helps us make every little thing extra environment friendly, however that it doesn’t detach us from the truth of day-to-day life. We should return to our animal essence, I can't stand my cellphone much less and fewer.

P. In your e book you point out: “It is clear that the ingenuity of women in science has been ignored for a long time”, the place are we at proper now?

R. I imagine that nobody will ever have the ability to cease ladies, however it’s mandatory that their work receives extra visibility. [En el libro] I’ve included fairly a couple of ladies who stood out for his or her ingenuity, regardless of being beneath the management of the heteropatriarchy. Many innovations had been made by ladies.

P. Anything that involves thoughts?

R. Ada Lovelace. She was in love with arithmetic and needed to cease her ardour to be a mom and lift her kids. The different day I noticed that for a few years now we have tried to battle the stereotype of the mad scientist and now I perceive it higher: they’d nothing else to consider. They by no means had to consider taking their kids to the pediatrician, to high school, feeding them… That is, all of the psychological and care burden that girls normally have and that males would not have.

P. And are we prepared for the change?

R. It has to occur. We all know that if any girl in science desires to have kids, she goes to cease her profession in its tracks. Something have to be completed to stop that from occurring.

For those that don't know who invented the fridge…

Valenzuela says in his e book that the germ of recent fridges occurred within the nineteenth century throughout a day of fishing. The Scot James Harrison witnessed on the boat of a buddy, the blacksmith John Scott, how tough it was to protect recent fish. This motivated him to search for an answer. He invented an industrial machine for compression refrigeration, a technique of liquefying gases for subsequent managed evaporation, the identical methodology utilized by present fridges. In 1914, the American Nathaniel B. Wales devised an electrical compression fridge and based the Kelvinator firm.

In 1916, engineer Alfred Mellowes created a mannequin with the compressor on the roof and based the Guardian Refrigerator Company, however he did not correctly handle the manufacturing unit till General Motors proprietor William Durant purchased it and renamed it Frigidaire. Today it’s a part of the Electrolux firm. In 1923 they started manufacturing the kind of fridge that we nonetheless use immediately.

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