The first Science Cycling Tour (in Spanish Vuelta Ciclista por la Ciencia, VCC) will take place in northern Spain this year (September 17-21, 2018). This original tour starts in Vigo (Galicia), passes by Santiago (Galicia), Oviedo (Asturias), León (Castilla y León), Salamanca (Castilla y León) and ends in Móstoles (Madrid). The aim is not winning any trophy. The motivation of the 5 scientists after 5 days and over 5-hundred kilometres is: “to raise awareness about good Research & Development in Spain and promote vocations”, in addition to claiming “the importance of research for the progress of Spanish society and development”.
The initiative has been put forward by five scientists: Adrián Escudero (University Rey Juan Carlos), Luis Navarro (University of Vigo), José María Sánchez (University of Vigo), Fernando Valladares (research scientist, CSIC) and Pablo Vargas (research scientist, CSIC). The five of them are specialists in different fields of biology, including biodiversity, climate change, new classification of living organisms, biological invasions and science outreach. That is why they will send videos and photographs of species richness and ecological interactions found along the way. The tour consists of five stages ending at city halls of the five municipalities (Santiago, Oviedo, León, Salamanca and Móstoles). Later in the afternoon, the five scientists will hold talks about their specialities in the university faculties. Needless to say that they will attend questions from students and regular public and discuss weak and strong points of Spanish science.
To kick off, a presentation about this tour will be hold at the Royal Botanical Gardens of Madrid in September, 14. First, a video of the tour with biological information will be shown to newspaper and TV journalists (11.00 am). Later on, regular public could visit the garden and ask questions about biology to three of the five scientists (12:30 pm).