Science and Hispanic Heritage Month

The History of Science in Latin America and the Caribbean (HOSLAC) is an NSF Funded project under the supervision of Prof. Julia E. Rodriguez at the University of New Hampshire. Its goal is to introduce scholarly and public audiences to the global phenomenon of science in its distinct Latin American contexts.

The heart of HOSLAC is an archive that contains a wealth of original source materials, with explication, organized around a robust set of topics. The archive has created a menu in which the topics are organized in a mostly chronological order, but each topic can stand alone and form the basis of a rich unit of study for high school students and college undergraduates.  The resources can be used with younger students as part of classroom discussions or teacher presentations, and many of the individual resources, such as the maps and the illustrations and photographs of artifacts, can be used by middle schoolers to gain experience with original sources.

Although it is intended as an archive of the history of science, teachers should find the resources relevant to the social studies curriculum as well.

The archive could be a useful tool to discuss the history of science in the context of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is being celebrated this year from September 15 through October 15th. Of particular interest is the section on Nobel Prize winners, which includes sections on the following Nobel laureates:

  • Mario Molina (1943- ), who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work concerning the depletion of ozone in the stratosphere. He shared the prize with F. Sherwood Rowland, his mentor, who is also a past president of AAAS.  
  • Baruj Benacerraf (1920- ), who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1980 for his discovery of immune response (Ir) genes that determine structures on the cell surface that allow the immune system to distinguish between self and non-self
  • Argentinean chemist and medical doctor Luis Federico Leloir (1906-1987) won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1970 for discovering sugar nucleotides that synthesize carbohydrates in mammals.
  • Bernardo Alberto Houssay (1887-1971) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the role of the anterior hypophysis (or, pituitary gland) in the metabolism of sugar.
  • Cesar Milstein (1927-2002), from Argentina, who won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1984 for his theories about specificity in the immune system and discovering methods for the unlimited production of monoclonal antibodies.

You can obtain more information and resources about these, and other Nobel Prize winners at Nobelprize.org

Image credit: HOSLAC


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