De Copas con Ciencia: María Bernechea & Stephany Zárate

A DJ talking about science and how to synthesise drugs without dying in the attempt this month in “De Copas con Ciencia”

Next Thursday, 30 March, a new session of the successful popular science project “De copas con ciencia” will take place. An initiative that aims to satisfy the scientific curiosity of the population in a relaxed, entertaining and fun way during leisure time, bringing it to the bars. The activity is aimed at the whole population with scientific curiosity without the need for specific training in science and aims to be a meeting point for science lovers in order to facilitate the creation of scientific debates between experts and the general public.

The activity is organised by the research institutes, ISQCH (Institute of Chemical Synthesis and Homogeneous Catalysis) and INMA (Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragon), both joint centres CSIC – University of Zaragoza, and will be repeated periodically on the last Thursday of each month. During these sessions, topics related to chemistry, nanotechnology and materials science will be discussed.

The next edition will feature María Bernechea who, after the success of her first performance in 2021 mixing science with the music of Joy Division, this time will talk about evolution through the music of ESkorbuto and the Beatles. Stephany Zárate will also talk about how to do a doctoral thesis and synthesise drugs without dying in the attempt. The session, with free entrance, will take place on 26 January at 20:00 at El Sótano Mágico, Calle San Pablo 43, Zaragoza (

– “Last night a DJ talked to me about science: Talking about evolution, who was right, Eskorbuto or the Beatles?” – María Bernechea Navarro, researcher at INMA (CSIC-UNIZAR)

During the talk María Bernechea will use pop songs to introduce scientific concepts. In this case, she will talk about evolution and illustrate different theories with songs.

María Bernechea is a chemist and PhD from the University of La Rioja. She is currently an ARAID researcher at the Aragon Nanoscience and Materials Institute (INMA), CSIC-University of Zaragoza. Her research focuses on the development of nanomaterials for use in clean processes and energy.

– How to make a propargylamine and not die trying” – Stephany Zárate, predoctoral researcher at ISQCH (CSIC-UNIZAR)

Propargylamines are important intermediates in the manufacture of drugs, including those that help fight neurodegenerative diseases. Chemical synthesis can often be an odyssey, as the path is not always easy, but the fruits it produces are truly sweet. In this talk, Stephany will show how her research group has developed a safer way to synthesise these compounds, without letting us get carried away by the uneasiness of the multiple problems involved in doing a PhD thesis……… trying not to die trying.

Stephany Zárate is a pre-doctoral researcher at ISQCH, working on her thesis at the Department of Organic Chemistry of the University of Zaragoza, under the supervision of Prof. M. Concepción Gimeno (Gold and Silver Chemistry Group) and Dr. Raquel P. Herrera (Asymmetric Organocatalysis). She graduated as a chemical engineer in Mexico and has done different stays in topics such as food microbiology (at Texas A&M) and polymers (at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico). She has also worked in process engineering for the manufacture of polyurethane foam at Ureblock (Mexico).

In addition, during the session there will be a face-to-face Hi Score Science competition aimed at the general public that will reward the scientific knowledge acquired by the attendees with an informative book.

Hi Score Science is a game of questions and answers about science, in Spanish and English, for mobile devices, iOS and Android that is developed between the two research institutes, the ISQCH and INMA, which allows to include explanations of the scientific reality behind each of the answers. The game can be downloaded free of charge and without advertising at Apple Store and Play Store: and for Windows, iOS and Linux at The app also allows users to participate in the project by sending us their own questions via a dedicated website


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Mar 30 2023


20:00 - 21:00

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