A mural of Street art produced by “Sabotaje al Montaje” which pays tribute to this American astronomer was presented this morning on behalf of the University of La Laguna (ULL) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in the neighbourhood of the Faculty of Science. The initiative is part of the multidisciplinary Project “The return of Henrietta Leavitt. From school to a research career by way of the theatre” whose aim is to focus on the role of women in science, and to encourage girls to take up scientific careers.
In these last few weeks the artista Matías Mata, of “Sabotaje al Montaje” has produced two murals with Henrietta Leavitt as the protagonist. Using these, the idea is to spread knowledge about the astronomer who developed the key method used to measure large distances in the universo, and to add visibility to the role of women in science, in the framework of a project of the IAC and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), of the Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitivity. This project plans, among its activities, to revive the play The Lost Honour of Henrietta Leavitt, which will soon be presented in Tacoronte and in La Laguna.
The official act of presentation of the mural, which can be found in the inner parking zone of the Faculty of Science at the University of La Laguna (ULL) took place this morning in the presence of representatives of the University, members of the IAC, communications media and the general public.
Those who spoke at the ceremony are Norena Martin, Vice-Rector of Infrastructure and Services of the University, Nestor Torres, Dean of the Faculty of Science, María Jesús Arévalo, Coordinator of higher education at the IAC, and director of the Department of Astrophysics at the ULL, and Carmen del Puerto, Head of the Unit of Communication and Scientific Culture of the IAC, and the Coordinator of the project. Among those present were Silvana Radescu, Vice-Dean of the section of Physics of the Faculty of Science, and María Candelaria González, Vice-Dean of the section of Mathematics of the Faculty of Science.
During her speech prior to the unveiling of the plaque which accompanies the mural, Norena Martín thanked the IAC for taking the University of La Laguna into consideration with this iniative, which “Enhances the visibility of women in science and backs the role of women in physics.
Néstor Torres seconded the words of the Vice-rector and added that “This grafitto has been a gift from heaven, which will enable those who pass by to know of the existence of Henrietta Leavitt” He also remarked that the Faculty of Science has a commission dedicated to policies of equality which has been in operation since the past academic year and has developed a plan of activities to contribute to “the multidisciplinary value of the equality which is a part of the intangible curriculum in the degree courses of the Faculty”.
María Jesús Arévalo paid tribute to the work of this woman astronomer, to whom we owe the period-luminosity relation of the Cepheid variables, the basis for measuring large distances in the univers, and to so many other women who have, like Henrietta, remained in obscurity in spite of the important discoveries and contrinbutions which they made to astronomy.
The last speech was that by Carmen del Puerto, who gave more information about the activities which will be undertaken with the project “The return of Henrietta Leavitt, from school to a research career via the theatre”, will be presented to the media on Ocfober 18th at the IAC.
The second mural of Street art about Henrietta Leavitt, also produced by “Sabotaje al Montaje” will be presented tomorrow, Wednesday by those responsable from the Tacoronte City Council and the IAC.