WASHINGTON – Spanish scientists in the United States debuted in Boston their association – dubbed ECUSA – which they see as “a voice” of the community abroad that contributes to both societies with which they have ties.
The general director of the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation, or FECYT, Jose Ignacio Fernandez Vera, made a guest appearance at the inauguration of the Boston chapter of this non-profit organization founded recently in Washington and which soon will have offices in New York as well.
“Spain should know about this activity of many Spaniards abroad, a praiseworthy activity,” Fernandez Vera told Efe after presenting a roundtable dedicated to scientific innovation organized by ECUSA at the Boston University School of Medicine.
The meeting, designed as a platform for dialogue among professionals of science, technology and innovation, was attended by 200 Spanish scientists based in the United States.
Fernandez Vera said that associations like ECUSA represent “work well done and highly valued” in “very competitive” societies like that of the United States, and its members “will be the ones who come up with the scientific breakthroughs.”
The association has around 100 members but is “growing,” Ignacio Ugarte Urra, president of ECUSA, said, and in its eight months in operation it has attracted more than 300 subscribers to its activities bulletin.
ECUSA is a “very diverse” group of scientists dedicated to different disciplines including astrophysics, conservation, technological innovation and biomedicine, as well as start-up entrepreneurs.
Ugarte, an astrophysicist and researcher at George Mason University, says that science is an “economic and social motor” that must be front and center in a society, which is why the group carries out educational activities and has also begun an international mentoring program.
The scientist highlights the “value” of the experience accumulated by these professionals in their careers abroad and says “if we have something to contribute to Spain we want to contribute it.”