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What a monument!

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Yes, tremendous monuments of women represented in the world's largest statues exhibition. I was one of them and I'll tell you everything!

Last May opened the largest exhibition of women's statues that has ever been exhibited in the same place. It is the IF/THEN Exhibition, which was located until October 24 at the NorthPark Center in the city of Dallas, Texas and included more than 120 statues of outstanding women in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Why statues?

Did you know that in the United States, for every 10 statues in its main cities, ONLY 2 are of women? That revealed a study commissioned by former United States Treasurer Rosie Ríos. Rosie leads the Empowerment 2026 initiative, which has also produced the first American coins with women's faces, among other important initiatives to give visibility to women.

The low representation of real women in monuments was the reason why the IF/THEN exhibition was created.

Puerto Rico present in a monumental exhibition! 🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷

Three Boricua scientists were part of the largest exhibition of statues of women in the world. 👩🏻‍💻👩🏽‍🔬👩🏼‍💼. Here is a brief information about each one:

✅ I am a program director at CienciaPR

✅ I am a microbiologist and educator ✅ I am from of Ponce, Puerto Rico ✅ I am a producer and TV presenter ✅ I am graduate of the UPR Mayagüez.

✅ I am an IF/THEN ambassador ✅ I am co-founder of CienciaPR's Seeds of Success and co-organizer of its IF/THEN Edition

​✅ She is currently a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington

✅ She is a mathematician

✅ She is a from Bayamón, Puerto Rico ✅ She is a graduate of UPR Río Piedras ✅ She is an IF/THEN ambassador ✅ She was co-organizer last year of CienciaPR's Success Program: IF/THEN Edition

​✅ She works in the private industry ✅ She is a chemist and an inventor ✅ She owns dozens of patents for various products, including my favorite and best-seller lipstick! ✅ She is from Aibonito, Puerto Rico ✅ She is a graduate of UPR Cayey

✅ She is an IF / THEN ambassador ✅ Roselin was co-organizer last year of CienciaPR's Seeds of Success Program: IF/THEN Edition

Why us?

Without the intention of minimizing our talents and contributions, the truth is that we are not the most prolific scientists in Puerto Rico. Of course not. We have a large number of women in Puerto Rican science who deserve recognition of this type, but this will be the subject of another blog post. The exhibit specifically represents a group of women who were selected in a competitive process by Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to serve as IF/THEN Ambassadors. Also a small group of amazing women such as marine biologist Sylvia Earle, were included. This initiative was created to activate a cultural shift among young women and open their eyes to STEM careers. As part of the activities to highlight us as role models, they came up with the idea of creating this exhibition. Simple as that! The rest is history...

Among the IF/THEN Ambassadors represented in the exhibition, is a tremendous group of Hispanic ambassadors: Jessica Taaffe, Jessica Esquivel, Deborah Berebichez, Beatris Mendez Gandica, Dana Bolles, Paula García Todd, Ana María Porras y Myria Perez.

If you get to know them, you can safely tell them: what a monument!

How were the statues created?

They used 3D printing technology, a process of producing objects through the addition of layered material from a digital 3D model. Each statue was created in life size, for which a full body scan was carried out using a special camera. After printing in layers, the statues were treated with ultraviolet light and painted in orange because it is the color of the initiative.

How was the exhibition displayed?

For the display in Dallas, more than 120 statues of women in STEM were placed in the city's NorthPark Center mall. The statues were organized in 4 circles and a group of them was inside the shopping center. At the entrance, there was a list of all the statues and their locations. Each statue had a sign with: (1) Name (2) location in the exhibition (3) place where they resides and (4) a QR code with a link to their biographies (in English and Spanish).

I appreciate the coverage of the exhibition that the media in Puerto Rico gave us, such as Metro, Noticias Ponce and WAPA. And above all, I am grateful for the support of organizations such as Ciencia PuertoRico, El EcoExploratorio, STEAM 100 X 35 and others who were with us virtually from Dallas so that the public could enjoy the exhibition.

Having the opportunity to visit the exhibition was an extraordinary experience. To see how curious people approached to look and ask, it was exciting. It was also an opportunity to reconnect with friends and fellow IF/THEN Ambassadors that I had not seen since 2019. This was my first trip outside of Puerto Rico since the pandemic and it will be one of those moments in my life that I will not forget. It is a pride to have been part of such a monumental initiative.

Conservative estimates indicate that more than 2 million people visited the exhibit! Wow!

And how is the representation of women statues in Puerto Rico? We do not know exactly and that is why I created the Monumental Women of Puerto Rico initiative. With this, I seek the collaboration of the public to know how many statues of women we have in the archipelago. I'm sure that after reading this, you will be more attentive when you go out and see historical monuments ...

In my opinion, the exhibit is an idea that should be replicated around the world. There are more people, especially more girls who deserve to meet role models with whom they can identify, be inspired, and dream!

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