Tag Archives: science

Musicians and scientists

Can you name a “musisci” – a person involved in both music and science? This was a question I asked over seven hundred people in a survey, and the answer looked like this:musisci

Without the top five answers, you can more clearly see some of the other ones:

musisci_withoutTop5

As you can see, there are a lot of people who have both music and science in their life, and this includes about a third of survey respondents, as well.

Survey responses musisci.007

For the full results of the survey, see my blog post on easternblot.net. I’m also starting a quarterly newsletter about the musician/scientist overlap. First issue will go out today (with more survey results, some music, and related links), and the next one in August. You can sign up here if you’d like to receive it.

#SciWars 2015

We liked #SciWars so much in 2014 that we did it again in 2015. This time, we actually did it on May 4* (aka, May the Fourth Be With You). Check out the Storify of the tweeted goodness/nerdiness.

Screenshot 2015-05-06 21.06.48

*This was not really our fault.

Days of the Enola Gay

In a must read article at Slate, Ben Lillie (Story Collider) looks at the events surrounding the Thirty Meter Telescope protests at Mauna Kea. He challenges scientists and the science community to recognize and reflect on the dark parts of our history – and how that history affects today’s events:

I’m disturbed that this conflict came as a surprise, and disturbed about what that says about the culture of science. I’m disturbed by how scientists see ourselves as separate from culture and history, unaffected by it, and not responsible for its ills, and I wonder what we can do about that…And so transcendence can take the form of blindness to differences between people and to our own biases.
Ben Lillie

I am compelled by his argument that we should, in addition to the days we promote for celebrating scientific achievement, set aside days in our year for reflecting on the regrettable aspects of scientific history. The Days of the Enola Gay (8:15AM 6 August – 11:02AM 9 August) will be going on The Finch & Pea‘s calendar of holidays (in the traditional sense of holy days).

Marketing is ready for STEM Women of Color

Barbie dolls are not real people. The pictures of actors and models in magazines are barely real people (thanks to Photoshop). The actress in this car commercial is not a real scientist.

16737581547_bf046bf211_o

It does, however, show anyone watching commercials during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament a stylish woman of color driving a nice car and doing complex-looking mathematics* in her head.

It shows someone who is not white, not male, not bearded, not with crazy hair, not with disheveled clothes, not with sub-par social skills doing complex-looking mathematics* in her head.

As we increasingly recognize that recruiting and retaining a diverse STEM workforce requires presenting individuals in that field with whom they can identify, we have a car company showing us that. This actress may not be a real scientist, but my four-year-old daughter won’t know that her concepts of who can be a scientist will have been expanded positively by a commercial while Daddy watched Duke play basketball on TV.

*I do not have the gift for going “oh, that is X equation” on sight. So, I will leave it up to you, dear readers, to evaluate the actual complexity and accuracy of the mathematical imagery.

The Limitless Arsenal of Science

Screw your tommy guns. We’ve got SCIENCE!

Screenshot 2015-02-02 20.42.06

If you like that, then you should consider backing the Jill Trent: Science Sleuth #1 Kickstarter campaign.

Suitable for all ages, the short stories in JILL TRENT, SCIENCE SLEUTH #1 include both a mix of “real” science and goofy sci-fi, celebrating women in science with an undercurrent of feminism.

With 5 different versions of the Science Sleuths, the unspoken theme is, hopefully, one of diversity and empowerment. The book celebrates women in science as well as female characters in comics.

HT: Cannot precisely recall whose feed I saw this RT’d in, but I think it was John Rennie.