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The particle accelerator of Valdecilla's proton therapy equipment will be named Teresa Rodrigo


Pablo Zuloaga made this announcement at the 3rd Meeting between scientists and schoolchildren organised by IHCantabria

16 February 2023

The Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental of the University of Cantabria (IHCantabria) has hosted this Wednesday the day "Meeting with scientists" where 110 students from schools in Cantabria have talked with five researchers from the University of Cantabria: Rocío Vilar, researcher of the Particle Physics group of the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA), Ana B. Marín, director of the EVO-ADAPTA research group of the University of Cantabria, dedicated to the study of Prehistory; Lorena Remuzgo, professor and researcher of the Department of Economics dedicated to Environmental Economics and Inequality Analysis; Olga Conde, professor and researcher of the Photonic Engineering Group​ and Carmen Sarabia, professor and researcher at the Faculty of Nursing and coordinator of the Nursing research group of the Valdecilla Research Institute (IDIVAL).

From left to right, Lorena Remuzgo, Rocío Vilar, Olga Conde, Carmen Sarabia and Ana B. Marín / Aurora Díaz

The event aims to be a dialogue between women scientists and schoolchildren, where the latter ask them questions or doubts about their careers, their work, about science, or about the role of women compared to men in the scientific community. This third meeting, organised and presented by the IHCantabria researcher, Jara Martínez, has adopted a hybrid format, between face-to-face and online classrooms, and is part of the activities organised by the UC's Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit (UCC+i) to commemorate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, every 11 February.

The IHCantabria was attended by the Sardinero, Gerardo Diego and Matilde de la Torre primary schools, the José María de Pereda secondary school and the Torrevelo-Peñalabra centre. The CEIP Cabo Mayor, Quirós, de Cóbreces, Torreones, de Cartes, Marqués de Valdecilla and the CC Mercedes were connected remotely. Also present at the meeting were the vice-rector for Research and Science Policy of the University of Cantabria, Carlos Beltrán Álvarez and the vice-president of the Government of Cantabria, Pablo Zuloaga Martínez, who welcomed the schoolchildren.

From left to right, Pablo. Zuloaga, Jara Martínez and Carlos Beltrán / Aurora Díaz

The Vice-Rector for Research highlighted the "luck of having five people of the highest level and of unbeatable international renown" at this meeting and encouraged the students to "serve as an example" so that in a few years they can continue their studies at the University of Cantabria.  

A tribute to Teresa Rodrigo

During his speech, Zuloaga encouraged all Cantabrian schoolchildren to participate in science, and took the opportunity to announce that the cyclotron (particle accelerator) with which the proton therapy team at the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital (HUMV) will work will bear the name of Teresa Rodrigo, whom he defined as "one of the main promoters of science and research and a pioneer in the development of the Institute of Physics of Cantabria", and a woman "who opened the way for many others to come after her".

Teresa Rodrigo, who died in 2020 and is considered the "Spanish mother" of the Higgs boson, was professor of Atomic and Nuclear Physics at the University of Cantabria from 1994 and professor since 2002. Since 1994 she worked at the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (CSIC-UC) where she was director of the Department of Structure of Matter between 2001 and 2007. In 2016 she was appointed director of the Institute of Physics of Cantabria until her death, being until today the only woman to occupy the direction of the centre.

Rebeca García / IFCA Communication
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