Valentina Josan is a scientific researcher at the Soil Microbiology Laboratory of the Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology Chisinau in the Republic of Moldova. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Molecular Biology and PhD studies in Microbiology. She specializes in bacterial cell immobilization and microbiological degradation of non-recyclable plastic waste. More recently, she began combining her passion for art with her scientific research.
“Light of yesteryear will shine again”
“The Hope, Diffused Light and Pandemic Inflation”, 2020, is a series of canvas paintings depicting isolation during the pandemic. Being separated from people, family and work, Valentina longed to return to a normal way of life. This prompted her to paint with bright colours to portray hope with widespread vaccination and individual responsibility, the “light of yesteryear will shine again”, says Valentina. This light emerges from the dark contrasts in her paintings to show how we must all evolve and adapt to the many disruptions and daily life changes brought by the pandemic. Art can help transform us, help us to find ourselves beyond the virus and beyond the conventional.
Women of science have often used crocheting and clothes stitching to help understand complex scientific processes and facts. This was the case of pioneering French midwife Angélique du Coudray (1712-1794) who created a mannequin of textiles to teach trainee midwives on all steps of properly attending childbirth. At that time, female midwives were barred from medical studies. In 1759, du Coudray published a midwifery manual “Abrégé de l’art des accouchements” illustrating important manoeuvres to preserve the safety of women and their new-borns at the moment of birth.
Her trainees practiced various manipulations in mock births on the life-size obstetrical mannequin and were well prepared to handle dangerous situations, such as with twins and breech presentation. Du Coudray succeeded against the opposition of male surgeons when Louis XV recognized that she was instrumental to reducing chid mortality and commissioned her to travel across France to teach the art of midwifery. She taught thousands of students and even male medical doctors and became a symbol of French medical progress.