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Graciela Ciccia, team coordinator

Graciela Ciccia has a résumé with a strong scientific imprint but she prefers not to call herself that. “I’m not a scientist, I’m a good team coordinator,” says Ciccia, even though her professional history has a scientific bias. She is currently Director of Innovation and Technological Development of the INSUD Group, a founding member of the Argentine Chamber of Biotechnology, President of the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Industrial Union of Argentina, member of the Board of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) As representative of the productive sector and PhD in Pharmacy and Biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires.

Science, technology, innovation and education are the words most heard during the interview with Mujeres queen. And he says that “we talk about the Argentine ingenuity because we are not accustomed to managing wealth but few resources”.

Is Argentine society innovative?

I think we have a virtue around innovation because we are very flexible. Tell you that you had five presidents in five days and you do not believe it. In my time of the Conicet (from 1998 to 2004) I had five presidents of the organization, with their respective teams. These changes make you accustomed to crises and issues that in other countries do not happen. So, sometimes you can think of solutions to certain problems that where everything is facilitated are not habitual. We talk about Argentine ingenuity because we are not accustomed to managing wealth but few resources. Then you’re going to see a researcher who, when he knows he’s got enough of the inputs, does wonders. It is not good to tie it with wire, but it gives rise to the need to see how to solve the problem.

The word innovation became fashionable, what would it be in the scientific field?

Innovation, in the area in which we move, which is research + development + innovation, is to introduce a new product or process in the market. Innovation must always be in the market, but it does not always have to be productive, it can also be in the social aspect. For example, the TECHO association is an innovative foundation is its approach to the work it does. So innovation seeing it from the scientific technological point of view is to get involved in having a new process, service or product in the market.

Is there a double discourse about the Argentine interest in science? Do we really care?

Argentina has made a long journey as to whether or not science cares. Having a Science Ministry is a very important public policy because it puts science, technology and innovation in the cabinet of the other ministries; But you might think that the population is so diverse that someone with that training is more aware of that issue. If you are in sectors that have nothing to do, it is more difficult to see the link everyday.
However, everything that is digital, coming from the computer, speaks of technology as if it were just that, the digital, and that has helped us a lot to see everything that can do in your daily life science. Perhaps more disclosure is needed. The Conicet will turn 60 and in the last 15 or 20 years it was given importance to divulge its task. And now, in time of social networks, the communicators of science and technology begin to have a little more weight. But this is natural. For example, you are going to do an MRI and have no idea of the technology behind that analysis. In Argentina there are urgent issues, such as improving primary education, see the issue of poverty, food, inflation. So if you have these issues on the agenda you will not be talking about everyday science.

Are we in a good moment to be a scientist in Argentina?

To be a scientist you need a vocation. It seems to me that you can not generalize and have lost over the years – but perhaps it is a product of modernity – the spirit of sacrifice you felt when you got into a scientific career. Like the teacher or researcher, those careers were never accompanied by salaries as if you were the CEO of a private company. But that does not happen anywhere in the world.

There is an idea that outside salaries are paid in other countries in the science sector …

It is not so. Neither can it be generalized in the private sector. There are positions in the private sector that earn less than in the public sector. Going back to the other is a good time to be a scientist if you have a vocation. If one has a vocation he must carry it out in any of the races, he could not say “I do not choose to be a scientist” to dedicate myself to a traditional career. In my generation, traditional education had a great impact on the children, because this was accompanied by a change in the social sector and there was growth assured by education. Today it is not so, but I still believe that for people with lower economic resources the only way out is education.

Group INSUD has a team dedicated to cancer, what do they do?

It was an idea that Hugo Sigman (CEO of Grupo Insud) and Silvia Gold (Director of Healthy World) both founders of the group. If today if googleás you will see that there are biological cancer treatments, which are called immune therapies. But if you leave 25 years ago, the cancer, which many people do not name it, was treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Cancer, to this day, exists because it is a disease that the cause was not found and we will not reach that point because it is very diverse.

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