Frances Colón: on science in Cuba & empowering women in STEM

Continuing our streak of interviewing practicing scientists turned scientific advisers, we talked with Dr. Frances Colón, Deputy Scientific Adviser for the Secretary of State. As post-Cold War relations between the U.S. and Cuba have thawed, Dr. Colón has been at the forefront of science diplomacy efforts bridging the two nations that have tangibly stood out to the public’s eye. We chat about the reality of bilateral exchanges in science diplomacy and the value of international role models for promoting women in STEM.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

  • You can learn more about the Office of the Science & Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State on their official page
  • When chatting about her work at the intersection of science diplomacy and promoting women in STEM, Dr. Colón mentioned a super awesome summer camp, handily dubbed the WiSci Girls STEAM Camp. Read more about this year’s innovators on the U.S. Department of State’s official blog, DipNote.
  • Check out Dr. Colón’s interview with Science magazine from last year on her work on science diplomacy efforts with Cuba.
  • For you aspiring science diplomats, advisers, and policymakers who want to learn more about how Dr. Colón transitioned from the bench to policy, check out the AAAS Fellowship
  • Avital mentioned a Forbes article from 2015 on Cubans exporting doctors to other countries, which you can read more about here.
  • Cuba also has an impressive biotech industry, whose strengths are handily detailed here.

This episode was recorded on August 10, 2016 in the Rockefeller University Outreach lab. Special thanks to Visager for music and to the Office of the Science & Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State for coordinating this interview.