Dr. Enrique Lin Shiao
Episode 47: When the Latin Asian Fusion is your Identity
Meet Dr. Enrique Lin Shiao, a scientist who has recognized that his immigrant experience, and the uncertainty associated with it, has helped him become a better scientist.
Dr. Lin Shiao was born in Costa Rica to Taiwanese parents, who prepared him and his siblings to continue pursuing better opportunities in places beyond their native country.
He embarked on an immigration journey to pursue academic opportunities, which led him to live in Germany, the U.K, and multiple cities in the U.S. His experiences living in various countries helped him become comfortable with uncertainty, which came in handy when pursuing his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, because the path to becoming a doctor is full of uncertainties.
Dr. Lin Shiao’s experience in the U.S. has helped him embrace his Asian identity even more than before. He carries his Asian and Latin roots wherever he goes, and tries to help and represent both communities as best he can. In fact, Dr. Lin Shiao played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic that extolled both cultures. He helped develop early stage diagnostics at Berkeley University that were used to test first responders, and the adjacent communities being affected by the virus.
Unfortunately, being a person of Latinx and Asian descent has not been easy in the last 6 years. First due to the dangerous rhetoric used to refer to latinx people during the 2016 election, and most recently, due to the unfounded acts of hate directed towards the Asian community, as a result of the words chosen by our highest officials to refer to the coronavirus.
Dr. Lin Shiao has also worked to contrast such harmful narratives by co-creating a podcast called Caminos en Ciencia, which highlights the careers of Latinx scientists. He also hopes that the activism of the last couple of years, such as the Stop Asian Hate movement, leads to meaningful change in our society.