University of São Paulo: The secrets of geology in cooking, tourism and literature just a click away

Have you heard of stromatolites? Did you know that there are fossil fluids that act as geological archives of the planet’s evolution? What about the link between geology and wine? For a group of USP students, geology is present in tourism, art, entertainment and even cuisine. Conceived at the end of 2019 by graduate students from the Institute of Geosciences (IGc) at USP, the Divulga Geologia project uses social networks to create a “geocultural” environment and unveil the signs of Earth sciences beyond rocks and mountains. .

The project is on Facebook and Instagram and is maintained by researchers working with different topics within the geosciences. According to the group, Divulga Geologia emerged in the face of the devaluation and discredit of science in Brazil, including the cut of research grants in universities, especially from 2016 with the Constitutional Amendment 95/2016. The so-called spending cap PEC introduced a new fiscal regime and impacted universities throughout Brazil with cuts and contingencies that mainly affected master’s and doctoral programs.

“Our main objective is the popularization of geosciences or ‘Earth sciences’, which comprises a set of areas that are not widely disseminated to the general public but of extreme importance in understanding the functioning of our planet and the construction of the society in which we live”, say the authors. students who divide their time between scientific research and the dissemination project. They investigate and share how geology is present in everyday life directly and indirectly.

Luana Morais explains that the project exists “also because of a sense of urgency to foster dialogue between academia and society, through an effective plan for scientific dissemination”. Currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics at USP, Luana recently completed a post-doctorate at the IGc and is researching the origin and evolution of eukaryotes – an organism formed by one or more cells that have a nucleus.

One of the examples of content created by the group is the sequence that uses the song Do Leme ao Pontal, by Tim Maia, as a motto to talk about the geology of Rio de Janeiro

Geological Saturdays
When created, the group’s first action plan was to organize an itinerant event to show in a didactic way the scientific research carried out at the IGc. Thus, the Geological Saturday was born, with the idea of ​​taking science outside the domains of the University, such as streets, squares and subway stations.

In the first edition, however, they did the opposite: they called a large and diverse audience into the institute. About 500 people, including adults and children, participated in the event.

“At the same time, we created profiles on social networks to publicize the events that would be held by the IGc graduate students, as well as the students’ work, in a more popular and digital communication environment”, recall the organizers. “Little did we know that this profile would be our main scientific dissemination tool in the midst of a pandemic”.

Divulga Geologia remains active on the networks, revealing to the public the curiosities of geology in books, films, archaeological sites, tourist sites and in food – such as wines, beers and the famous table salt. And even as an Earth science, geology unfolds on a journey out of the center of the planet, giving the public a scientific lens to look at the ozone layer, the solar system, life.

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