When talking about Mexico, most individuals have a misperception that Mexico is a country devoid of advanced technology. It is a misperception perpetuated by the news media hungry for sensationalized headlines to fill their daily news delivery. Many of us Mexicans, also tend to downplay Mexico’s technological expertise as a result of our misguided attempt to hold the Mexican government accountable for its failures. The fact is that Mexico is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of area, economy, population and, yes, innovation and leadership in the technology sector.
The other misperception is that Mexico is unfriendly to women. This notion revolves around our own perpetuation of the myth around the “machismo” notion. There are many failures in the way Mexicans treat their brethren, including the indigenous populations and women. However, there are also many examples of successes.
Earlier this year, Dr. Leticia Corral Bustamante, a Chihuahua-born astrophysicist, presented a mathematical model that corrects Hawking’s hypothesis on the origin of the universe. The International Association of Engineers recognized Corral for her work in January. Corral’s work points out that Stephen Hawking’s failed to take asymmetry into account in his time correlation calculations.
Leticia Corral’s work demonstrates that Mexican women are not only world leaders in the technology sector, but that Mexicans are involved in high-level scientific fields contributing to the world’s knowledge.
In addition to Corral, Dr. Miguel Alcubierre Moya, a theoretical physicist, has been working on a theory for a speculative faster-than-light spacecraft, much like Star Trek’s “warp drive” for many years. In 2012, a NASA laboratory created a lab to test spatial distortions that a drive, like the Alcubierre, might create. Additionally, in 2013, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory published the results of 19-second “warp field” they stated that they had created.
The work being done by Alcubierre and Corral are generally ignored by the news media in general. Much of this has to do with the fact that their work is scientific in nature and most readers ignore these types of stories. The other reason is that writing about Mexicans in the scientific fields is not “sexy” enough for the mass media consumers. This, unfortunately, helps to perpetuate the misconception that Mexicans are a backward people looking for low wage jobs or free handouts.
That is not the reality but, unless, we as Mexicans start to celebrate our own successes and demand that the record is clear, the misconceptions about Mexico and its people will continue to be perpetuated.