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Human Rights

New protocol against sexual harassment at CSIC

  • CSIC approves a new protocol against sexual harassment that is more agile and effective, and creates a unit to supervise its implementation

The president of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Eloísa del Pino, presented this Monday the new Protocol for Prevention and Intervention against Sexual and Gender-based Harassment of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), which aims to prevent possible situations of sexual harassment in the CSIC and to deal with them in the most effective way in the event that they do occur.
The document introduces improvements and streamlines the procedures and tools for training, prevention, detection, denunciation, sanction, attention to victims and follow-up of cases of sexual harassment and gender-based harassment that may occur in the institution, which has almost 15,000 workers distributed in 124 institutes and centres.

Its approval has the consensus and support of all the social partners represented on the Delegate Commission for Equality and on the CSIC’s General State Administration’s Delegate Board, as well as the CSIC’s Women and Science Commission.
“This new protocol reflects the firm commitment of Spain’s largest public research institution to exercise a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, and allows us to continue working towards the goal of eradicating such conduct from our working environment,” said Eloísa del Pino.
“The measures included in the document we are presenting today will help us to make the CSIC a safe and active institution in preventing, immediately detecting and resolving possible situations of sexual or gender-based harassment, in any of its forms and modalities, in all institutes and work centres, and to deal with them effectively,” added the president of the organisation.

Commissioner’s Unit

One of the main features of the new protocol, which updates the previous one from 2020, is the creation of the Commissioner’s Unit for Promoting a Healthy and Safe Working Environment. Reporting to the CSIC presidency, this resource will be the unit of reference for issues related to sexual or gender-based harassment in the organisation, and will also be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the measures and procedures included in the protocol.
The Commissioner’s Unit will be immediately informed when the protocol is activated, will be at the service of the victims to provide any guidance or advice they may require, and will be responsible for monitoring cases during their processing and after their conclusion.

Administrative sanction

On the other hand, the new protocol will allow the administrative sanctioning procedure to continue regardless of whether the criminal court case for a sexual harassment offence is closed.
Moreover, if the facts reported are not considered sexual harassment but other types of punishable behaviour, the competent unit will exercise the corresponding disciplinary power.

Other measures

The new document incorporates new measures that simplify procedures and improve attention to the victim. Thus, in order to activate the protocol, it will be sufficient to notify the facts or receive information showing signs of sexual harassment, beyond the need to subsequently formalise the complaint.
Among the improvements related to victim care, the CSIC will activate a psychological support service that will be active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and measures will be introduced to avoid secondary victimisation, such as having to repeatedly report the case in different instances.

Beyond the employees of the institution, the protocol covers all persons who, even if they do not have an employment relationship with the CSIC, provide services or collaborate with the institution, provided that the case takes place on CSIC premises. This includes volunteers, students, staff of subcontracted companies or people from any other public or private organisation. The document includes the obligation of public employees to report cases of possible sexual or gender-based harassment, for which a simple and confidential mechanism is established.
In addition, the new protocol incorporates more demanding measures in relation to the monitoring of equality plans and harassment protocols of external companies that have an employment relationship with the institution, which will have to inform the CSIC of the equality measures they develop and communicate the activation of the protocol immediately.

Source: CSIC Comunicación (comunicacion@csic.es)

Download the Protocol (in Spanish)

More information

See also here

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Stem YoFisica

Vídeo de la conferencia: “Piedad de la Cierva y el legado enmudecido de las mujeres en la ciencia española”

El pasado jueves, 8 de febrero, con motivo del Día Internacional de las Mujeres y las Niñas en la Ciencia, la investigadora predoctoral del IFT Carmen Gómez-Fayrén de las Heras impartió una charla de divulgación acerca de Piedad de la Cierva, única mujer miembro del CSIC en su constitución, destacando también el papel de otras muchas mujeres, pioneras como ella, que fueron duramente silenciadas en aquella época.

Carmen Gómez-Fayrén de las Heras es sobrina-nieta de la propia Piedad de la Cierva e investigadora predoctoral en el Instiuto de Física Teórica UAM-CSIC.

El vídeo de la charla está ya disponible en el canal de YouTube del IFT.

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Awards Stem YoFisica

Presentation of the Julius Wess Award 2023 to Belén Gavela

  • The Julius Wess Award 2023 of the KIT Center Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics (KCETA) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will be presented on February 9, 2024 to Prof. Dr. Belén Gavela (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Instituto de Física Teórica UAM-CSIC).

Prof. Gavela receives the prize in recognition of her significant contributions in the field of theoretical and phenomenological particle physics, with particular emphasis on CP violation and flavor physics in quarks and leptons, on the study of neutrino oscillations and on effective field theories related to electroweak symmetry breaking.

The ceremony will take place on February 9, from 16:30 to 21:00 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.

The timetable of the event can be found here.

More information and registration

For an overview of Prof. Gavela’s research interests, we recommend watching the video of the talk (in Spanish) that she gave at the Residencia de Estudiantes on the occasion of Science Week 2021.

Title: The Invisible Universe

Abstract: Particle physics includes an almost undetectable sector, the neutrinos, whose exotic properties may hold the key to some of the greatest mysteries of the universe, such as matter-antimatter asymmetry. We will also discuss the visible sector of the universe, exploring the nature of the dark matter and dark energy that make up 95% of the energy density of the cosmos.

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Awards Stem YoFisica

Irene Valenzuela receives the Award for Young Female Scientific Talent from the FRACE

  • The Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences grants Irene Valenzuela the Award doe Young Women Scientific Talent in the category of ‘Physics and Chemistry.’
  • The objective of the awards is to create female role models in Spanish science.


The Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences celebrated its IV Edition of the Awards for Young Female Scientific Talent, recognizing Irene Valenzuela Agüí, a researcher at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (IFT UAM-CSIC) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), with the award in the category of ‘Physics and Chemistry.’

Likewise, the awards have recognized the career of Rosa María Crujeiras Casais in the category of ‘Mathematics’; Blanca Ausín González in ‘Biology and Geology’; and Isabel Oller Alberola in ‘Applications of Science to Technology.’

The award for young female talent in ‘Physics and Chemistry’ has been granted to researcher Irene Valenzuela for her study in quantum gravity and string theory and its implications in physics, particles, and cosmology. In the words of the awardee: “With this award, I would like to encourage, especially, girls and young women to pursue what they are passionate about and follow their scientific vocation.”

The awards were presented by María Ángeles Gil, numerary academic of the Mathematics Section; Miguel Ángel Alario, numerary academic of the Physics and Chemistry Section; Laia Alegret, numerary academic of the Biology and Geology Section; and Paloma Real, general director of Mastercard Spain. In this last edition, 400 valid nominations were received, of which 23 corresponded to the ‘Mathematics’ category, 80 to ‘Physics and Chemistry,’ 185 to ‘Biology and Geology,’ and 112 to ‘Applications of Science to Technology.’

With these awards, which take place on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11), the organizers hope to create role models to combat the gender gap in STEM careers.

Categories
Stem YoFisica

Piedad de la Cierva y el legado enmudecido de las mujeres en la ciencia española

  • Carmen Gómez-Fayrén de las Heras, a predoctoral researcher at the IFT, will deliver an informative talk about the life of Piedad de la Cierva, the only female member of the CSIC at its inception.
  • The lecture will take place on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 7:00 PM in the auditorium of the IFT.


Piedad de la Cierva Viudes was a pioneer scientist from Murcia, and the only woman member of the CSIC in its first constitution. Throughout her career she studied various subjects such as radioactivity and optics.

Other pioneering women like her, and also men, were harshly silenced due to the context of the time, leaving a muted footprint in their respective fields of work.

In the little documentation that records the life of Pilar de la Cierva, she herself writes that she was a witness of exceptional years in which women were beginning to set foot in the university and the sciences.

The talk will be given by Carmen Gómez-Fayrén de las Heras, grandniece of Piedad de la Cierva herself and predoctoral researcher at the Institute of Theoretical Physics UAM-CSIC.

The aim of this talk is to pay tribute to all those women who suffered discrimination and repression, as well as to tell the interesting trajectory of Piedad de la Cierva with the deserved sensitivity.

Thursday, February 8, 2024, in the auditorium of IFT @ 19:00.

Admission is free and open until full capacity is reached.

The conference will be held in Spanish.

Confirm your attendance here.

Categories
Awards Stem

Indira Ocampo, selected for a prestigious grant from the ESA Visitor Program

  • Indira Ocampo Justiniano, a predoctoral researcher at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (IFT UAM-CSIC), has been selected as a recipient of one of the prestigious grants from the European Space Agency’s Visitor Program.

The ESA Archival Research Visitor Programme provides a unique opportunity for scientists at all career levels affiliated with institutes in ESA Member States and Collaborating States.

Ocampo has been chosen to participate in the program, which aims to maximize the scientific output from ESA’s space science missions. Indira’s research area focuses on “Machine Learning the cosmological large-scale structure of the universe with Planck and Euclid.” During her three months residence, Indira will conduct her research at ESTEC (Noordwijk, Netherlands).

The program offers visiting scientists the opportunity to interact with archive and mission specialists for questions on the retrieval, calibration, and analysis of archival data. All areas of space research covered by ESA science missions can be supported, and applicants are encouraged to consult the table of expertise and contact relevant scientists in their field of interest.

Congratulations to Indira Ocampo for this achievement!

Categories
Awards Stem

Belén Gavela, acknowledged with the Julius Wess Award 2023 for pioneering research in particle physics

  • Belén Gavela, a foundational member of the Institute for Theoretical Physics (IFT) since its inception, affiliated with the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has been honored with the distinguished Julius Wess Award 2023 by the KIT Center for Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics (KCETA) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Belén Gavela’s groundbreaking research has fostered our understanding of the fundamental nature of particles and their interactions. Her investigations into CP violation and flavor physics in quarks and leptons have unveiled critical insights into the asymmetry between matter and antimatter, one of the profound mysteries of particle behavior.

Moreover, her exploration of the dynamics of neutrino oscillations has been pivotal in comprehending the elusive properties of neutrinos, shedding light on their oscillatory nature and oscillation probabilities, which are crucial in the study of neutrino masses and mixing and their CP properties.

Belén Gavela is also one of the founders of the subfield of weak matrix elements on the lattice, the latter being a theoretical framework used in particle physics to discretize spacetime into a grid-like structure, enabling calculations and simulations of quantum field theories on a finite grid.

In addition, Belén Gavela’s work in investigating effective field theories associated with electroweak symmetry breaking stands out. Her theoretical insights into the fundamental forces and the mechanisms underlying the breaking of electroweak symmetry have significantly enriched our understanding of the building blocks of the universe.

SEE MORE

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Stem YoFisica

Vídeo resumen del reto #YoFisicaEnLaCalle

  • Se acerca el momento de ver el resultado final del reto #YoFísicaEnLaCalle. El lunes 12 de febrero a las 10:00 lanzamos el vídeo resumen en el canal de YouTube del IFT, ¡no os lo perdáis!

Este año, con #YoFisicaEnLaCalle, os propusimos salir al patio de vuestro cole o instituto o a la calle de vuestro barrio y preguntar sobre física. Estamos felices de que os hayáis animado y sobre todo esperamos que os hayáis divertido mucho haciéndolo.

Podéis ver todos los vídeos que nos habéis enviado en esta galería de nuestra Web, y también en el canal de YouTube IFT11F.

¡Muchas gracias a todas las personas que habéis participado!


  • La iniciativa #YoFisicaEnLaCalle del Instituto de Física Teórica UAM-CSIC invita a jóvenes a entrevistar a transeúntes en vídeo sobre conceptos de física, fomentando conversaciones informales que involucren a la comunidad en la divulgación científica.
  • Los vídeos se recopilarán en un contenido audiovisual único que se compartirá en los canales de YouTube y TikTok del IFT, buscando alcanzar a una amplia audiencia digital y promover la participación en la ciencia.

El Instituto de Física Teórica (IFT UAM-CSIC) saca la ciencia a las calles con su nueva propuesta para el Día Internacional de las Mujeres y las Niñas en la Ciencia: #YoFisicaEnLaCalle. El certamen de vídeos busca celebrar el trabajo de científicas en el campo de la física mientras involucra a la sociedad en la exploración y difusión del conocimiento científico.

Este año, el IFT se aventura a llevar la física a la comunidad con #YoFisicaEnLaCalle, desafiando a las y los jóvenes a compartir cuestiones sobre física en su entorno.

Desde su inicio en 2020 con #YoFisica, la iniciativa ha evolucionado a través de diversas formas de expresión, incluyendo #YouTubersPorUnDia, #YoFisicaEnComic y la incursión más reciente en febrero de 2023 con #YoFisicaEnTikTok. Con cerca de mil contribuciones en forma de vídeos y dibujos, esta iniciativa ha logrado involucrar a miles de personas, convirtiéndose en un referente en la divulgación científica.

El desafío: convertirse en entrevistador/a acerca de cuestiones relativas a la física

Esta edición invita a estudiantes de colegios e institutos a salir a los patios escolares, las plazas y las calles de sus barrios para entrevistar a transeúntes sobre física. Grabando estas interacciones en vídeo, se busca crear un intercambio de conocimiento y destacar el rol de las mujeres en la ciencia.

Las personas participantes podrán diseñar sus propias preguntas sobre física y científicas, o bien obtenerlas de la información proporcionada en la página web oficial de la iniciativa.

Los vídeos resultantes, previa obtención de los consentimientos requeridos, se combinarán en un único contenido audiovisual. Este se publicará en el canal de YouTube del IFT, con más de 700 000 seguidores, además del canal de TikTok y una galería especial en la página web del Instituto. La fecha de publicación está programada para el 11 de febrero de 2024, en conmemoración del Día Internacional de las Mujeres y las Niñas en la Ciencia. Además, todos los vídeos aparecerán íntegros en el canal IFT 11 Febrero.

Para participar en #YoFisicaEnLaCalle, se solicita enviar los vídeos antes del 21 de enero a la dirección de correo: yofisica.ift@gmail.com. Toda la información y orientaciones para la creación de los vídeos se encuentran disponibles en la página web oficial de la iniciativa y en este documento:

Para más información y entrevistas:

comunicacion@ift.csic.es

 

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Sin categoría

A paper highlights the benefits of investing in basic research, particularly in developing countries

  • An article on the arXiv highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in emerging or developing regions for the global landscape in high-energy physics.
  • In a follow-up work, the authors provide an overview of activities and efforts in the field of high-energy physics (HEP) in Africa and Latin America.

The authors of the arXiv preprint 2203.10060 have recently outlined the global benefits of engaging with developing countries. The document, titled “Why should the US care about high-energy physics in Africa and Latin America?” provides several examples in the context of the strategic planning process for high-energy physics in the US, Snowmass’21. The article underscores the significance of collaborative efforts, which not only strengthen local science but also have a substantial impact on the global landscape of high-energy physics.

The article includes a list of recommended investments, stressing how these would benefit all parties involved. Examples of these include exchange programs to fund short-term visits; bridge programs that facilitate the reintegration of physicists back in their home countries; or a wider recognition of the economic disparities of some countries and the support for more equitable ways which allow them to contribute, for example, to large international collaborations and other international efforts.

Although the document focuses on the US as a specific example, many of the arguments and conclusions reached are rather general and would also apply to other countries, as well as to other fields of research besides high-energy physics.

The general arguments outlined above are complemented by a second work on this line, arXiv: 2308.15373.  This second article, titled “High Energy Physics in Africa, Latin America and other developing regions“, outlines and summarizes the current and past participation of African and Latin American countries in international experimental collaborations in the field of high-energy physics:

In the African context, Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa stand out with robust high-energy physics programs, actively collaborating on global projects. Nations like Madagascar, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, and Senegal have also joined international collaborations, promoting research in the region.

In the case of Latin America, the authors highlight the recent creation of the Latin American Association for High Energy, Cosmology, and Astrophysics (LAA-HECAP, which now has over 450 members). The region hosts significant installations in particle astrophysics, including the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, the HAWC observatory in Mexico,  or the CTA-South project in Chile. Moreover, 2023 witnessed Brazil’s associate membership in CERN, and there is great anticipation for the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) to be held in Latin America in 2026.

Finally, regarding other countries the authors highlight Nepal as a promising seed in high-energy physics. Despite the lack of university-based high-energy physics programs, Nepal has launched various training initiatives in high-energy physics and has already established valuable connections with CERN and ICTP, hinting at its potential growth in this field.

Categories
Human Rights

Woman, Life, Freedom Film Series

  • The CSIC centers in Cantoblanco Campus organise the film series ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ in solidarity with the protest movement that began in Iran following the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022.
  • Inspired by UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, the initiative will run from 17 November to 15 December 2023, screening three movies: Persepolis, The day I become a woman, Life and a day, and the BBC documentary: Inside the Iranian Uprising.

The film series ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ (Zan, Zendegi, Azadi) is an initiative of the Red de Igualdad Intercentros CSIC+UAM in solidarity with the protest movement that began in Iran following the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022 while under arrest by the Iranian morality police. 

The murder of Jina Mahsa Amini sparked huge demonstrations in Iran under the slogan ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’. During the protests, more than 500 demonstrators were killed, thousands were injured and at least 20,000 people were arrested (source: The Iran Primer). A year after her assassination, protests continue in Iran.

With this film series, we want to join our voices to those of the protesters and pay tribute to all those who risk being killed, tortured or executed for their struggle in defence of human rights, and to the activists who fight every day for women’s rights in Iran and elsewhere.

The film series commemorates 25N, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and 10D, Human Rights Day.

The films will be screened on: 

at 15:00 in the Red Room of the Instituto de Física Teórica UAM-CSIC, Nicolás Cabrera 13-15, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28046, Madrid.

For more information, you can visit the event website.