Enjoying science in Andalusia

20140628_145413This will be the last interruption of our articles about the searching of state of the art. We have to make this break for telling you about the Park of Science of Granada and inviting everyone to visit it.

This is one of the best museums of science I ever visited, and I am happy to say this, especially when research and science are not particularly blessed by the politiciens in our country, independently on the fact that they try to make us to believe the opposite.

I have been several times at the Palais de la Découverte in Paris, which is really wonderful. I have visited science museums in London, Amsterdam, Madrid or New York. Also our Ciudad de las Artes y la Ciencias in Valencia is worth visiting, although I wonder if it is well preserved.

This weekend I was surprised and delighted to see how enjoyable and well designed is the “Parque de las Ciencias” of Granada. If you go there, Albert Einstein welcome you sitting at the entrance and you start your visit having a pleasant conversation in the language of your choice with a couple of robots. We had the opportunity to listen to live music performed by students  from the Conservatory. As in other museums, there are many workshops and exhibitions  devoted to particular subjects. We were for example listening interesting explanations about the research on algae, carried out at Spanish universities as the ones of Malaga or Granada, and it was even more interesting seeing small children listening quietly to the explanations  including definitions of pH, absorbancy or photosynthesis, and watching at the experiments without batting an eye.

You can wander around the buildings and learn about plants, observing them and reading the pieces of information  very carefully placed under wooden layers to protect the plastic sheets from the weather and to increase your curiosity. You can visit and have fun inside the tropical forest wherein monarch and zebra butterflies among others, pass in front of you almost rubbing your face.

The room devoted to the human body is huge and amazing, even scaring, when you see a human heart, a real one, just especially treated to lie there as long as wanted. The amount of information accompanying each object, sample or model is perfect, not too short that you do not learn something, not too long so that people do not finish to read it. Also the language is appropriate for the  purpose of a museum, that is to spread knowledge and maybe, hopefully, to awake interest for science, literature, or history…. Some patents could be filed in the future as the result of a visit to this wonderful place.

If you are tired of biology or physics, just visit the rooms about the Andalusian and Spanish history and enjoy the magnificent exhibitions including manuscripts, scrolls, models, maps and small treasures of the interesting mixture of such different cultures.

Of course, you do not need to go outside to have lunch and read newspapers. You can do both in the nice available rooms, or at the tables near the gardens. No excuse if you have children because you can spend time in the “garret of the museum” or in playgrounds with slides or a Möbius strip big enough to climb it. Marie Curie can take care of the children while she is standing there holding some laboratory flasks.

20140628_145937If you are planning to visit Granada which is a wonderful city, just save enough time to spend several hours at the Parque de las Ciencias. We thank all the people involved in the splendid task of making a dream to come true. Welcome to the Andalusian museums!.

Seni Cueto

Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Ciencias 2014, ¡Profesor Corma!

zeolita jpgSi estáis alguno esperando por el siguiente artículo sobre STN, o Questel, prometemos que aparecerá pronto en esta sección. Pero esta semana tenemos que “aprovecharnos” del buen nombre del Profesor Corma a la vez que le felicitamos desde nuestra modesta posición de “patentólogos”.

Y digo bien, “aprovecharnos”, porque también estamos orgullosos de haber tramitado algunas de sus patentes, y hay que decir que siempre ha sido un placer “molestarle” para preguntarle si la zeolita ITQ-32 podría ser preparada con algún otro elemento, o si tenían más ejemplos a mano para convencer al examinador estadounidense, en su obstinada afirmación de que “the inventor was not in possession of the invention”. Y le prometo, Sr. Examinador, que en este caso el inventor sí estaba en posesión de la invención, de esa invención y de muchas otras…

Invenciones todas ellas que nos facilitan la vida, que cuidan el aire que respiramos, que ayudan a que nuestras medicinas produzcan el efecto deseado de la mejor manera. Todo esto es parte de la gran contribución al “estado de la técnica” como decimos los de las patentes, de una persona, que con ayuda de sus colaboradores, y dando ejemplo desde la mayor discreción comienza bien temprano cada mañana a pensar en una solución para el siguiente problema, una solución que lo será también para los que ignoran esta actividad silenciosa, para amigos y para desconocidos, para los que a esa hora aún no se han levantado.

Hoy sí le voy a llamar muy alto “Profesor Corma”, aunque durante esas conversaciones sobre zeolitas ITQ y procedimientos de oxidación de alquenos, decía que le llamara Avelino.

Esto es un ¡bravo! para la ciencia española, que se pone un puntito más arriba, pero sobre todo hay que decir ¡bravo, bravo por Avelino Corma! Y también ¡Gracias!.

Seni Cueto