Scientific research is so complex that many felt it was of little relevance to their lives.
But the SARS-CoV-2 virus suddenly changed this perception.
Never in history has a vaccine been achieved in such a short time.
We've seen the best and worst of science in 2020. Will you maintain that essential recognition and support going forward?
Katalin Karikó may one day win a Nobel Prize, but she has suffered rejection for decades.
This Hungarian researcher thought in the 1990s that a molecule of elusive origin, RNA, could be used to cure diseases such as cancer, but her idea provoked the disbelief of colleagues and institutions and could not find funding.
“Every night I was working and I was thinking: 'Grant, grant, grant,' and the answer was always, 'No, no, no,' he recently told Stat magazine.
He lost his job at the University of Pennsylvania (USA), he wanted to leave science.
But he continued to investigate, and when the genetic sequence of a mysterious deadly virus ravaging China was published in January this year, he applied his idea to a possible vaccine.
Ten months later, the immunization of the company where he works, the German BioNTech, has been tested on 44,000 people and is one of the great hopes to end the deadly pandemic that has devastated the lives of millions of citizens.
Many of them have wondered how it is possible that nobody warned us that this could happen.
But scientists like Karikó did warn us.
The point is, no one was listening.