Author Archives: mcshanahan

Scientific awe & wonder in Colleen Brown’s Swallowed Whole

Standing in my kitchen, I first heard this track on the CBC Radio program Key of A. Beautiful, haunting? Check. And inspired by Carl Sagan. What? The name caught me ear and I turned to the radio and, yes out loud, asked again “What?”. That brief mention was enough to make me very curious, and I tracked down Colleen Brown, the Edmonton singer-songwriter responsible for this gem to ask her about it. Continue reading

Looking for personal stories from women in science

Originally posted on Marie-Claire Shanahan’s personal blog, Boundary Vision, on 27 August 2014.

The submission deadline for provisional topics and titles is 10 September 2014.

Me and my daughter admiring a penguin at the Calgary Zoo.Diving headlong into motherhood this year has meant less blogging (obvious to anyone who subscribes here…), but it has also made me think a lot more about the scientific life that I would hope for my new daughter and girls like her. Currently her research interests include ceiling fans, her toes, her soother, the dogs and the penguins at the Calgary Zoo. But should she be interested in pursuing science as a career, what would I want her to know? Continue reading

Please don’t blindly follow PopSci’s lead and get rid of comment spaces

Originally posted by Marie-Claire on her home blog, Boundary Vision. Reposted here with permission, because EXACTLY.

A tiny explosion happened in the online science communication world yesterday. Popular Science.com announced that they will be closing off opportunities to post comments on their news stories: no more public comment spaces. Why? They argue that uncivil commenters have an overly negative effect on readers, so negative that it isn’t worth maintaining the comment spaces. They make some scary claims too about a small number of negative commenters poisoning the way readers perceive the stories and about a war waged on expertise. They use an New York Times Op-Ed written by Dominique Brossard and Dietram A. Scheufele to back up those claims.

I must, however, respectfully disagree. Continue reading

Whitehorse’s Achilles’ Desire [Repost]

Editor’s Note: Marie-Claire has been too busy getting situated as the first Research Chair in Science Education and Public Engagement. How busy? Too busy to listen to music. Forget about writing about music. To give you a reprieve from my musical tastes, we are reposting this gem from 11 September 2012.

Husband and wife duo Whitehorse pack an emotional punch with the first single from their new album The Fate of the World Depends on this Kiss. (I promise I’m not wallowing in clichés here, the punch is literal. Watch the video.) Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, major talents in their own right, have continued their musical partnership that began last year with the release of their self-titled debut. Continue reading

Stars: Holding On & Letting Go

Editor: Marie-Claire Shanahan is a bit busy taking on her new job as the new & first Research Chair in Science Education and Public Engagement at the University of Calgary; but she was not too busy to make a Song of the Week pick.

Not sciency at all…But here’s the song I wanted to post. New video from one of my favourite bands, about love and being yourself in love and seems appropriate for the particular moment in time.