Kalinga Prize laureate - 2015
As a science communicator, Professor Golombek is perhaps best known for his work to communicate science to a diversified audience, making it accessible and relevant to everyday lives. Professor Golombek is author of several books for a general audience on neuroscience, chemistry and biology, including The Scientific Cook, DNA: 50 years later, Demolishing papers, and Science in the Classroom. He has produced, scripted and hosted TV shows such as G project and The Brain and I. He is also the Director of the collection of science books Science that Barks (Ciencia que Ladra), and founder of the science camp Expedition Science for teenagers across the country. He is actively involved in science journalism having published many stories in newspapers and journals, as well as participated in numerous radio and TV shows. He has written numerous articles on science for local and international journals, magazines and newspapers. He currently writes a weekly column on science for the Sunday magazine La Nación.
He was coordinator of the Science for Sustainable Development section of the Ricardo Rojas Cultural Centre housed in the University of Buenos Aires; a dynamic venue where science meets the arts. He has collaborated in the design, creation and organization of numerous science festivals, fairs, exhibits, shows and conferences, notably the TEDxRiodelaPlanta conferences (a TEDx group with science communication as the main theme). He is currently leading a team to design and plan Argentina’s first national Science Cultural Centre, which will house an auditorium, several small classrooms-workshop rooms, a makers’ space, a science TC channel (TEC TV) and a science park.
Prof. Golombek has been recognized by his peers for his work in science communication and has been previously awarded the National Science Prize “Bernardo Houssay”, the Latin American Award from Red Pop/UNESCO for Science Popularization, the Konex prize for merit in Science Communication, the IgNobel Prize. Other prizes include an award for best science TV show, the Houssay Prize, the Kennedy Prize and the Public Understanding of Science award from the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He was also named Outstanding Personality of the Science by the City of Buenos Aires.
Research and background
Having completed his PhD in biology, Golombek is an expert in the field of neurochemistry of circadian rhythms in mammals, specifically the time-dependent (“chronopharmacological”) effects of the pineal hormone melatonin on different behaviors, and its mediation by the central GABAergic system. Beyond his basic research in neuroscience and circadian rhythmicity, Professor Golombek has been implementing application programmes of chronobiology in the workplace, including assessing and optimizing the effects of conflicting time schedules in situations such as shift work or jet-jag. He currently heads the Chronobiology laboratory and is full professor of Physiology at the University of Quilmes in Buenos Aires.
Prof. Golombek has published over 120 international peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as many chapters in books, and has also been invited professor in several universities throughout the world. He has received a number of scientific prizes and awards, including the Qualitas Prize, the Special Mention Bernardo A. Houssay Prize, the Neuroscience Prize and the National Award in Aerospace Medicine.
Professor Golombek also holds an arts degree in music (guitar playing) and has been involved in several music and drama productions; he has written several shorts stories and poems in journals and anthologies. He has received a number of literary awards in Argentina and Latin America.