During a meeting on April 4th, 2022, members of the Guam Science and Technology Steering Committee met with Mónica Feliú-Mójer. Feliú-Mójer is the director of communication for Ciencia Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization that advocates for science in Puerto Rico and supports Puerto Rican researchers to empower communities to improve their lives and society.
Feliú-Mójer also works with Science Communication Lab, a nonprofit that uses multimedia storytelling to communicate science to the public, as its director of diversity and communication training.
“I like to push back on this idea that our communities are not scientifically literate. They know science. There’s a lot of community and ancestral scientific knowledge,” said Feliú-Mójer. “I think it is important that we have a conversation about scientific literacy and how people can use it to benefit their life.”
The steering committee consulted with Feliú-Mójer learn about how to put science in service of communities.
As part of her work with Ciencia Puerto Rico, Feliú-Mójer facilitates Aquí Nos Cuidamos (“Here We Take Care of Each Other”), a community-centered multimedia toolkit that provides culturally relevant resources to marginalized communities in Puerto Rico on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has produced resources such as guidelines, checklists, and infographics; audio broadcasts to remote areas; and videos with sign language.
“I think one of the things that’s really important to me when it comes to engaging different communities with science is that fundamentally, science is about solving problems,” said Feliú-Mójer. “Everybody has problems. Science equips us with tools to solve problems regarding such determining whether something is true on social media or making a decision about our finances or healthcare.”
Feliú-Mójer said that communicating science in a culturally relevant way makes science more accessible for audiences.
“Culturally relevant science allows people to see themselves in science. It makes science more welcoming. A lot of people see science as a subject they need to take in school and not much more and part of what I want to do is change that. I want people to see science as a tool that can serve them no matter who they are,” said Feliú-Mójer.