During the quarantine imposed by the pandemic, Agustín Colombier decided that he was going to take advantage of the free time he had to disseminate scientific data via Twitter.
The 27-year-old who lives on the outskirts of La Plata is a biotechnologist, and he received his studies last year at the Higher Institute of Teacher and Technical Training No. 213, in Ensenada. While studying for the finals, he began to explain issues related to coronavirus and vaccines on the networks with two objectives: Fight misinformation and challenge yourself as a professional.
Read also: Controversy over the taste of tomato: Greenpeace targeted agrochemicals and an entity from the field denied it
Agustín on Twitter: 280 characters of information for everyone to understand about science
“If I really understand a topic, I have to be able to explain it so that everyone understands it and summarize it in 280 characters. So when I find something that I find interesting to tweet, I don’t do it right away: I assimilate it, think about it, and correct it until I post. I even try to discuss the issues with my family and friends as well, ”he told TN.
In his BiotecnoBlog account he tweets about “everything that biotechnology encompasses, which is very broad: transgenics, biofuels, biological sciences and issues related to agriculture ”.
“There is a lot of ignorance and the only way to stop it is by disclosing data. Someone says something, and if it is combined with prejudices and fears, it becomes like a snowball that is difficult to stop “, considered the young man.
Why did BiotecnoBlog go viral
When he opened his Twitter account in 2012, had 500 followers and surpassed 12,000 after responding to Green Peace, on the reason why “the tomatoes of today do not have as much flavor as those of before”.
“Hello Greenpeace, it’s me back. As they do not tire of saying things without scientific basis, a thread comes out explaining. Spoiler: it has nothing to do with herbicides“, wrote. This tweet was shared more than 5000 times and has more than 12,900 likes.
In simple words, Colombier explained that the difference is due to a natural mutation in the SIGLK2 gene that affects aroma and flavor characteristics. “Can you restore the flavor of before to the tomatoes of today? Of course! But for that, some practices that terrify them are necessary: genetically manipulating the tomato ”, he detailed on the social network.
Is everything chemical bad and everything natural good?
For the young there are many people who “demonize the scientific and deify the natural, without knowing the processes ”. “Researchers are not sadists who want to kill animals and destroy the world, and nature is not so beautiful: a plague that affects a plantation can leave a community without food, and there the intervention of man is needed to be able to maintain the quality of life ”, explained Agustín.
The biotechnologist assured that “Nobody cares more for animals and their land than agricultural producers”, and that before launching campaigns on the networks, it is necessary to take into account “the application times of some products, and the consumption times”. “If I don’t apply a herbicide at the right time, nature advances and we don’t eat. It is as ideal to consume food without any chemicals as wanting to cure yourself of certain diseases without taking pills”, He explained.
Although some haters criticize Agustín “because he does not give him the wood” to disseminate science on networks, he is committed to continuing his work to help users “not panic as a result of misinformation.” “You don’t have to get carried away by nostalgia for the past and believe that everything was better. Things happened but you did not find out because they did not go viral. You have to trust science, and look for prestigious sources of information ”, he concluded.