Curator #88: Miquel Bosch

photo Miquel Bosch for catalanvoices

Ladies and gentlemen,
My name is Miquel Bosch (@miquelbosch) and it’s a great honor to be the 88th curator of @CatalanVoices. When I am not a curator I happen to be a neuroscientist. I spend most of my time trying to understand how we store memories in our brain (webpage).

Well, that is not true anymore; since my lovely daughter was born, I spend most of my time cleaning up the mess/chaos/mass-destruction that she constantly creates. She was born on September 11, 2013, in Cambridge, MA, USA, while people in Catalonia were busy holding hands in the “Via Catalana” human chain. I was born a few years before (1975; still under Franco’s dictatorship) in Sant Andreu de la Barca, near Barcelona. I grew up in family of farmers, among fruit trees, chicken, vegetable fields, and other bugs. I moved to Olesa de Montserrat when I was 14. I studied Biochemistry at the University of Barcelona and did a Ph.D. on Neuroscience, trying to find a cure for Huntington’s disease using the emerging technology of stem cells (my thesis).

The first time I lived abroad and had to use my poor English to survive was during a 3 months stay working at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden (even the very old Swedish grandmas had a better English than me). I lived one year in “Les Corts” neighborhood in Barcelona before starting my unexpected and strong relationship with Japan and the Japanese courteous people (not as strong as the preceding 87th curator, though). My knowledge about Japanese culture had been almost zero until I moved to Okazaki, a small town near Nagoya, in 2005, and spent 5 months working at the National Institute for Basic Biology. I had time to learn some Japanese language and got to even read Katakana and Hiragana, which allowed me to guess what I was actually buying at the supermarket (I explained my research and experience in there in this article, awarded by the Catalan Association of Science Communication).

By that time I had applied to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA) and finally got hired in a laboratory, guess what, ruled by a Japanese investigator. Just coincidence. In this lab I used the most advanced state-of-the-art microscopy technology (namely multiphoton imaging, optogenetics, optopharmacology, and stuff like that) to discover some fundamental mechanisms by which synapses persistently remember information (article). I then moved to another laboratory at MIT, this time ruled by a famous American investigator (so American that he did not even know who Lionel Messi was) to investigate what is wrong in the synapses suffering of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Some of my research was sponsored by the Fragile X Foundation (want to donate?). My connection with Japan did not stop here: I travelled 3 more times to Tokyo, to work at the RIKEN institute, for up to 6 months.
I have by now lived almost 9 years in the Boston area, working hard at such an amazing place as MIT, interacting with a bunch of inspiring people, Nobel laureates, totally crazy scientists, and even some normal people and friends from many different countries. Since I am now looking for a job as scientist around Barcelona (mission impossible?) I will for sure miss this fantastic environment. Not the Bostonian freezing winters, though.

As you see, science is my job and my passion. But I am also interested in many other things, including politics, art, history… As I will have total freedom to tweet about anything I want during my week as curator, I choose to tweet about my personal thoughts about all these fundamental topics in a general way. I will try to convince you about how important is to introduce science into society, to change politics from an artistic to a scientific activity, to watch the world through the eyes of a scientist to understand how badly we humans organize ourselves. My wife has heard these thoughts millions of times and will very much appreciate if I can use twitter as my personal psychologist, at least for a week ;)

Since this is @CatalanVoices and Catalonia is going through an extremely interesting political times, I will talk a lot about politics, about how I see this “process”, why I support the independence movement without being a nationalist, why I volunteered and became the treasurer and founder member of the ANC-USA (Catalan National Assembly at USA) and why fractal mathematics and primate ethology can help understanding the Catalan revolution. Seriously.
I hope to have interesting discussions about politics, science and philosophy of the human being. Just for pure entertainment, of course. We will not change the world from Twitter. Will we?



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