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Taking science beyond borders

Fredilson Melo, ITQB NOVA PhD student and GREEN-IT member, talks about his experience as part of the science communication project Cartas com Ciência, in the RTP África’s TV show “Bem vindos”
Taking science beyond borders

Credits to RTP África

Cartas com Ciência is a project of letter exchanges between scientists and students in Portuguese-speaking countries, in which Fredilson Melo participates as a corresponding scientist since October 2020. In the TV interview,  Fredilson explains how this project has allowed him to give to the students something he didn’t have while growing up - direct contact with scientists. With few researchers in his home-country, Cabo Verde, Fredilson did not have the chance to learn at a young age what it was like to be a scientist and how research works. Through Cartas com Ciência, Fredilson shows to the young students what is like doing science.

One of the strongest points of this project is that we get to break stereotypes” says Fredilson in the interview. The PhD student talked about the importance of representation and showing that scientists can take many appearances and come from all over the world. By corresponding with children from Timor-Leste, Fredilson looks to open up their interests, showing them different possibilities and that science is not out of their reach.Credits to RTP África 

Fredilson also talked about the first letter he ever received and how in each correspondence he tries to explain what he learned and what he knows, so that the other side is able to make more informed decisions. “I try to write as if I am talking to my younger self” explained Fredilson to RTP África.

Cartas com Ciência was launched in 2020 by two scientists, Mariana Alves and Rafael Galupa, and looks to create conversations between scientists and students in lusophone countries, in order to mitigate barriers and prejudices associated with      Credits to RTP África                                                                                higher education and scientific careers.

Besides his PhD and the project Cartas com Ciência, Fredilson Melo has also developed an animated webseries Podcast do Fredilson – Educação Ilustrada, in which he uses animations to promote greater scientific literacy and education, using his country’s native language – Cape-Verdean Creole.

See the full interview to RTP África here.