Amid a swirling economic crisis and protests over budget cuts for research in Argentina, one scientist has found a novel way to fundraise: winning money on a television game show.
Marina Simian, a biologist for Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council, went on the local version of the TV program “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” saying she needed the money to support her cancer research.
Simian, the head of a nanobiology lab researching oncology treatments for breast cancer and other forms of the disease, used her intellect on the game show to win $11,000 to pay for laboratory supplies.
“I am not a hero. I used a strategy that was a bit creative or different to get financing for my work group,” Simian said in an interview at the National University of San Martín in Buenos Aires.
Government funding has become less reliable for science research in recession-hit Argentina amid rampant inflation and a tumbling peso. The weaker exchange rate has also sapped people’s spending power, especially buying equipment overseas in dollars, a common practice due to better availability and lower prices.