This pretty much sums up my world view.

"Our World Needs You" from Indexed by Jessica Hagy (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)
“Our World Needs You” from Indexed by Jessica Hagy (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

Like STEM and STEAM, SHTEAM is a lousy acronym; but it is infinitely preferable to the SHAT ME option.

Biological Determinism is False

Disproving sex-based biological determinism in one graph from No Ceilings, with more data on the phenomenon at their website.

Source: No Ceilings
Source: No Ceilings

HT: @Bailiuchan

The Missing, Female History of STEM

Chief Technology Officer of the United States Megan Smith discusses the problems of erasing women from the history of science and technology with Charlie Rose. It is not that the historical role models for young women don’t exist. It is that we actively expunge them from our narratives.

As Rose suggests with a question, it is hard to imagine how this practice actually benefits anyone – other than an intellectually lazy adherence to our standard, male-centric narrative.

HT: Caroline Siede at BoingBoing.

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.


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.

Technology vs Poverty

Image courtesy of Carl Parkes
Image courtesy of Carl Parkes

Technology and poverty seem to be intrinsically at odds with one another. Technology is a luxury, right? While the “smartphone” has been hugely influential in wealthy nations, simple pay as you go cell phones have also transformed poor, rural areas and they are being used to monitor market prices of crops via text messages. This critical information can help a farmer decide what to bring to market and where, to get the best prices. The stripped down basic cell phone could greatly improve a farmer’s income. It’s possible that science and technology could be key components in alleviating poverty all over the world. Continue reading “Technology vs Poverty”

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