More network thinking wanted
Prof. Dr. Francisco J. Barrantes
Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Neurobiology in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), Buenos Aires, DAAD alumnus and President of the Alumni Association of the Humboldt Foundation in Argentina
“Humboldt was an adventurer, a traveller and a tireless collector who never lost his romantic perspective. If he were to come to Latin America today, his hair would probably often stand on end in the face of the continent’s environmental conflicts. Perhaps he would increasingly turn his attention to research into social factors. After all, Humboldt’s legacy is not that of a revolutionary discoverer. It lies above all in the way that he observed nature. We have been influenced by his insight that everything is interconnected, everything networked together. Very much in keeping with Humboldt’s principles, in my subject area, molecular neuroscience, it is important to establish links with other disciplines to find concrete solutions for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Although Humboldt’s vision has had a great influence on science in Latin America, there is an equally great lack of network thinking at the institutional level. There are large numbers of good researchers, but there is little infrastructure for top research. If Humboldt were to travel through Latin America again today, perhaps he could persuade governments to strengthen support for research."
What does Humboldt mean to you?
Tell us your story about Humboldt!