Communicating knowledge… a skill!

Have you ever been at the doctor’s office and the doc is talking and talking and you do not understand?

Have you ever seen a person looking at you as they do not understand? Did you realize that it is not because they do not understand your words? It is because they do not really have a clue about the meaning of most ( if not all ) of the words that you are saying!!

The art of communication goes beyond as being able to talk, it is about being able to express ourselves in a way that the other person (people ) can actually understand.

Communicating Science, is a wonderful addition to learn a new skill and be able to bring our research to our community and perhaps help us to communicate better with the rest of the people that we interact with.

Posición económica como determinante de enfermedades crónicas.

Comunidades saludables:

Toda causa tiene un efecto y una repercusión cada acción, es fácil de decir pero muy difícil de analizar y entender. Las enfermedades son así, tienen una relación con  causalidad directa o indirecta, si bien hemos tenido una transición epidemiológico y las enfermedades crónicas se han convertido en las principales causas  de  muerte, todo se ha vuelto un poco más complicado políticamente y ese es el caso de la desiertos alimentarios.

Mapas de desierto alimentario 

Muchas comunidades viven en entornos (injusticia ambiental) que están favoreciendo el desarrollo de enfermedades como la intoxicación por led, obesidad, hipertensión, diabetes tipo 2, etc

La condición socioeconómica determina el lugar donde la gente puede permitirse el lujo de vivir (ubicación / el código postal) y puede convertirse en una barrera para acceder a opciones más saludables, la creación de conductas no saludables (dieta, nivel de actividad), y afecta a la calidad de vida y la esperanza de vida .

Academic Freedom – Academic Tenure – Job Stability

Integrity in Science is expected, as well as  ethical behavior. Academic freedom is  linked to academic tenure , therefore in order to get a tenure  a professor needs to prove that she/he can teach, do research (publish) and serve.

What happens in institutions where the professors need to do research and with it bring money or awards to prove that they deserve the tenure? Getting money becomes a challenge and can potentially develop ethical dilemmas.

The requirements to reach a tenure may create a conflict of effort among young scientists that are no just trying to be recognized by their effort but also need to prove themselves in order to get a stable and secure job. Can we think that some cases of academic misconduct in research are due to this conflict of effort?

More about what is research misconduct and how to avoid it here:  misconduct-brochure.

Education on ethical behavior (IRB , the Nuremberg  and Helsinki codes ) and good mentorship could be the key to create a  balance among teaching, research, service and therefore  prevent misconduct.

Mentors are the ones that are “supposed” to guide new scientists in the whole process and to help them to build a network and professional health, being a mentor is a hard job for a person that is going through a tenure track. Can we assume that new scientists were taught well, when we are not certain about their previous relationship with their mentors?




Web of Causation- SES

Redesign  communities to improve their health.

Every cause has an effect and every action a repercussion, it is easy to say but very hard to analyze and understand. Diseases are like that, they have a direct or indirect causation; while we have been having an epidemiological transition and chronic diseases have become the leading and underlying causes of death, everything has become a little bit more politically complicated and that is the case of the food deserts .

L.A. Community Starved For Healthful Food Options (AUDIO)

“From here, you look all around, there’s no market,” says Olga Perez
Surce:Mandalit del Barco/NPR

Many communities are living in environments  (environmental injustices) which are favoring the development of  diseases such as led poisoning, Obesity, Hypertension , Type 2 Diabetes, etc.

Fig. 1. Evidence informed model of potential determinants of sport/physical activity (Foster et al., 2005).

 SES determines the place where people  can afford to live( location/zip code)  and it can become a barrier to get access to  healthier choices ,creating unhealthy behaviors  (diet, activity level), and  affects people’s quality of life and life expectancy.

A good pathway to education starts in………… Family or kindergarten?

We all know that the first school is the family, but what happened when it is time to start  education at school level? . During the past State of the Union (February 12, 2013), our President spoke about early education and its importance in kids developments and their outcomes. The President also spoke about early education and its impact in preventing  teen pregnancy and increasing graduation rates.

It makes sense to talk about early childhood education, and how important it is, mostly ,when we see the funding cuts faced by schools/education  every year.

If education is the one that will determine our health and job outcomes/status,  It won’t be a surprise to see minorities been affected for many non-communicable diseases that are linked to life style, if we know the importance of education, what are we doing to reach the underrepresented population? What about the minorities?


Hispanics have become the biggest minority and according with U.S. Census Bureau Projections, the Hispanic population will increase” from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 in 2060”. As Hispanic population grows, their academic achievement will impact U.S future. Increasing their access and graduation rate should become a priority for higher education institutions.

I am a Hispanic woman, seen myself in a classroom where I see the biggest minority being the less represented  makes me experience ambivalent feelings; on one hand I feel very happy and blessed of having this wonderful educational experience but on the other hand l feel sad and frustrated. I have started wondering : what are the barriers for Hispanics to reach higher education? is  having access to a 2 year (Associates college) or 4 years (Baccalaureate Colleges) enough? What is stopping them from graduate?.

I have many questions and I do not want to think that just our background (race/ethnicity/socioeconomic status) is the one defining the increased/decreased  access  to education (starting in kindergarten) or even worst our background is the only determinant of  the possibilities in getting  higher education.





An enjoyable learning experience.


Creating an enjoyable learning environment goes beyond of having a nice campus and/or access to technology, it is more about being able to create an environment where students develop a critical thinking, it is transforming a classroom from a place where students have to go to a place where they want to go, I know  it sounds ideal  but it can be done (I choose to believe it).

As Mike Wesch called it  “anti-teaching”, which is opposed to the traditional way of teaching, “anti-teaching”,can become the key in improving the learning experience and also in developing critical thinking.


As societies change and technology has become part of almost everyone’s life, we can take advantage of it, and use it as a tool to create a better teaching/ learning environment as well.

It  might sound, like the next logical step is the incorporation of  social media in teaching, and even when I am supportive of a nice,  innovative and  enjoyable teaching/learning environment and experience,  I still believe that technology can be use as tool and should not “totally” replace the college experience.

Can net communication decrease humanity?


Social networking has great and bad aspects, on one hand we can feel that the world has become flat, yes now we can go online and find mostly everyone and also get in contact we people that we never thought  we will do it again,  net communication is cheap, almost always fast and can be access almost everywhere in the world.On the other hand even tho we are communicating more and the access to communication has increased, our communication skills have decreased.


The basic communication process involved simple steps: message-encode-send-decode and interpreter, still it can lead to misinterpretations, but with body language chances were that the message was going to be interpreter as expected.

The fact the people like to communicate more by using social media and even worst choosing technology over verbal communication, makes me feel that we are decreasing our humanity, a personal touch is what makes socialization and behavior better, how can we socialize , keep or create new relationships without a personal touch?

“I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.” ~ Albert Einstein