Hostos Community College celebrated Science Week 2021: Science for the Future from November 15 through November 18. The multi-day event series took featured a series of lectures, discussions, presentations, and interactive virtual events, including the Hostos STEM Olympiad: Kahoot Format.
Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis helped commence Science Week 2021, delivering remarks during the opening ceremony in which she praised the Science Week Committee’s “dedicated efforts” in putting together this year’s event. She also noted the similarities between science and a subject near and dear to her heart: poetry. 
“Both use close observation as the basis for drawing conclusions,” she said. “Both exemplify and embody humanity’s ability to make great imaginative leaps. Both are intimately concerned with truth. Those who deny the truth and validity of both science and poetry do so at their own risk — and, all too often, ours.”
On Tuesday, November 16, the College welcomed keynote speaker and prominent scientist Dr. Christopher E. Mason, Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine, who delivered a keynote presentation titled “A 500-Year Plan for Medicine and Technology on Earth, Mars, and Beyond.”

In his fascinating talk, world-renowned geneticist Dr. Mason shared with the audience a 10-phase, 500-year plan for humanity to prepare for life on other planets. Because human beings are not yet ready to live on another planet due to the harmful effects of radiation, toxic gases and other extreme conditions they may face there, Dr. Mason proposed reengineering the human genome to allow humans to tolerate an environment on other planets. During his talk he also reflected on the scientific aspects of the future universe and philosophical and ethical questions. Dr. Mason posed the question: Should we prevent the collapse of the universe or should we allow self-destruction, expecting that life will be revived again? His outstanding presentation was an exciting and one-of-a-kind journey that allowed the audience to learn about the current trends in genetics and biotechnology, giving them a peek into what life may look like in 500 years from now.
Organized by co-chairs Professors Anna Ivanova, Soheli Chowdhery, and Kathleen Delgado, Science Week 2021 included timely and informative discussions on artificial intelligence, the importance of science in food policy in New York City, black holes and gravitational waves, and much more. Additionally, students had opportunities to share their STEM research presentations, participate in trivia and art contests, and learn about different science majors and career options.

"Every living thing is born with a spark of science and continues with countless signs of science, and in the end, almost nothing will exist, but science continues,” said Professor Chowdhury. “Today, we make plans to develop the next 500 years of new science and technology on Earth, but 500 years later, living things on Mars, Earth, and beyond will reflect on the scientific questions we asked at this very moment in time. We are the ones who are creating a vision for the future now, and others will enjoy and take further our scientific knowledge. Our vision for the future is the gift science gives back to us.”
Visit the Science Week 2021 page for more information.