A Scientific Anthology: Women in Science

Introduction

There have been many op-ed pieces and articles published about women in science chronicling their ups, downs and everything in between.

This anthology profiles 20 women in various fields of science, from molecular biology to physics, astronomy to zoology. They come from various socioeconomic, ethnic and geographical backgrounds. Some are well known, others you may just hear of for the first time. Some are still alive, while others are now circulating as a part of our universe. Some may have found their career path easier than others. Some may have had additional labels threaten to weigh them down.

Something you’ll find they all have in common is a curiosity and a passion – about their field and their work – and a desire to make the world a better place.

Continue reading “A Scientific Anthology: Women in Science”

A Scientific Anthology: Women in Science

Plate Tectonics and the Brain

Courtesy Piled Higher and Deeper

This video not only discusses the relationship between brain folding, diseases and intelligence, it also gives great examples of exaptation. It’s amazing to see the different fields that we can pull information from to better understand how the brain develops. Who would have thought math had anything to do with the way the brain is shaped? It also ties in nicely with previous discussions of surface area to volume ratios and how the human body employs wrinkles and folds in various organs brain, lungs, digestive tract, testes to fit them into small spaces and provide a greater surface for biological processes such as diffusion, absorption, gametogenesis and the processing of neural signals to occur.

Plate Tectonics and the Brain

The Slow Hunch

These teachers understand that science is not a field that delivers quick answers, and through this project, they arm students with both the practical skills and the intellectual patience to quiet their minds and reject quick conclusions until all the evidence is in.  – Jessica Lahey, Relearning the Lost Skill of Patience

This article in The Atlantic reminded me of the slow hunch. The idea that there ins importance in slowing down and engaging in deep, critical thinking, which is very much needed to make those crucial connections. The beauty of this is that it is applicable to many fields not just science. Hopefully, students are making meaningful connections in this course too!

The Slow Hunch

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is also affected by familiarity. We are generally more willing to live with familiar risks than new ones, no matter what the relative dangers. – Grace, p216

I’ve spoken to many people (students included) who refuse to get a flu vaccine because they don’t consider flu to be a “serious” disease despite the fact that the flu can also result in death and as Americans, they have a higher chance of contracting the flu virus than the ebola virus.

flu or ebola

It’s also worth asking what role media plays in skewing the public’s perception of risk.

Risk Assessment