October 14th, 2021 (15:00 - 16:30 Boston | 21:00 - 22:30 Madrid)
The Hispanic-American personnel at NASA has years of experience disseminating the agency’s passion for space and Earth exploration to the Hispanic community in their mother tongue: Spanish. In recent years, NASA has supported these efforts through the creation of a Spanish communication program, directed from the agency’s headquarters. The leader of this program, María José Viñas, will discuss the program’s start and the challenges that are presented while searching for the mythical “neutral Spanish” and while helping engineers and scientists communicate their research in a language that they do not use daily in their work. She will also address how a language can aid efforts of inclusion and representation.
With degrees in veterinary medicine and journalism and having completed her postgraduate studies in scientific journalism at the University of Califorcia, Santa Cruz, María José Viñas works as a scientific communicator at NASA. She started at the agency as a science writer in 2011, covering Earth and polar science topics and, since 2019, she has been in charge of its Spanish communication program. She has collaborated as a freelance journalist on diverse Spanish and American publications, like the newspapers El País and Público, the magazines Dominical, Symmetry, and Stanford Report and the websites Consumer, Mongabay, and Madri+d.