Austin, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 12, 2007–Responding to evidence that Hispanics are underrepresented in science careers in the United States, Earth & Sky – “a clear voice for science” on radio and web – requested and has now received a major grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to produce 600 science radio spots in Spanish over the next three years.
At this writing, 60 U.S. Spanish radio stations have signed on to carry the science radio spots, which will begin broadcasting on September 24. More stations are signing on daily.
This new science radio series in Spanish is Cielo y Tierra – “la clara voz de la ciencia”. It is a sister program to the popular Earth & Sky radio series, whose science spots can be heard 8 million times daily on 1,600 radio stations around the world. The new one-minute Cielo y Tierra radio spots feature the latest science news, and answer people’s science questions, in Spanish.
Hispanic scientists and civic leaders across the U.S. have endorsed the new radio series. Nobel Prize winner Mario J. Molina (1995, Chemistry), said, “Congratulations to Earth & Sky and the National Science Foundation for collaborating to produce a Spanish science radio show and website that will undoubtedly become a very valuable educational resource for promoting science knowledge within our Hispanic community.”
Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, said, “In an age where we work to narrow the achievement gap, Cielo y Tierra makes science available and approachable to Spanish speakers. To succeed in this new century and stay at the leading edge of innovation, we must ensure that everyone has the opportunity and encouragement to pursue science and engineering. Cielo y Tierra presents science in a refreshing, newly accessible way to the Spanish-speaking community.”
U.S. Congressman Ciro Rodriguez of Texas added, “I congratulate the launch of Cielo y Tierra, a much-needed Spanish-language science series and commendable step in science education. The engaging programming will encourage our youth to become more involved in the ever-evolving sciences and to pursue careers in fields in which Hispanics are underrepresented.”
Earth & Sky is producing Cielo y Tierra in cooperation with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES). All radio spots in the new series will be based on original interviews with scientists, and these two organizations are helping the series to connect with Hispanic scientists in the U.S. and around the world.
According to the 2006 Science and Engineering Indicators from the National Science Foundation, Hispanics fall behind other minorities in choosing science as a career. An estimated 44.3 million Hispanics live in the United States, making up 15% of the U.S. population. But, according to the NSF report, only 3.2% of the science workforce is Hispanic.
“Cielo y Tierra will feature interviews with Hispanic scientists with the goal of inspiring youth to choose science as a career,” said Erika Montero of EarthSky Communications, Inc.
Montero, who is project manager for the new series, added, “Cielo y Tierra will answer people’s science questions and provide a consistent source of the most important science news of the 21st century to Spanish-language radio stations and their listeners.”
A community-based website for Cielo y Tierra will launch in early 2008. Like the Earth & Sky website at http://www.earthsky.org/, it will feature science news, blogs and daily sky information – all in Spanish.
Cielo y Tierra is a product of EarthSky Communications, Inc., a science media company that delivers up-to-date, accurate and compelling science content around the world via audio and digital media. EarthSky’s best known product is the Earth & Sky radio series, which debuted on September 30, 1991 and has provided uninterrupted science information on radio every day since then. Today, the Earth & Sky radio series is one of the biggest, longest-running and best-established science radio shows in the world.
The Earth & Sky Promise: “We take seriously our responsibility for bringing the ideas, strategies and research results of scientists to people around the world, with the goal of illuminating pathways to a sustainable future.”