You are browsing the archive for science and society Archives - The Plainspoken Scientist.
23 May 2022
I’ve been listening to teachers, and reading their words. They’re overtired, overworked, underpaid, and, when it comes to science teachers, extra worried: they’re concerned about the hard line that has been drawn by many people against science.
13 May 2022
I think we’ve established that it’s not easy to get to Antarctica. Ever since the Drake Passage opened ten million years ago, letting the Southern Ocean circle the Antarctic continent, it has rendered human arrival there perilous and arduous.
15 April 2022
At times the trouble isn’t finding science stories, it’s finding how to tell them. In comics, the words are vital, but the images are, dare I say, even more important. Why? Because they’re what catches your attention, clues you in, inviting you to read, and — in the best cases — they work to convey aspects of the science that just wouldn’t work as well in words. And, as experts in science education and communication know, the more modes you use to tell the story, the more eyes you’re going to get on your work.
1 April 2022
I got my start at Scholastic News, a classroom magazine for 11 and 12-year-olds that covered everything — so I had to interview everyone who was making news. I quickly realized that the people I liked talking to the most were scientists. They were the most passionate, the most enthralled, and they had the biggest lives — even as they focused on a small research topic or specific geographic area. To me they were dots of light that — like the Lite-Brite toy I’d grown up with — formed pictures.
21 March 2022
Have you ever been hugged by a sea urchin? Watching a young kid apprehensively place their finger between the spines of a sea urchin, then light up with excitement when the spines gently squeeze them is just one thing that motivates us to dedicate so much time to outreach. While we have the attention of that student, we can explain that photoreceptor (or light-sensing) cells on the tips of the urchin spines allow them to sense shadows and move their spines towards predators as a defense mechanism.
18 March 2022
Sometimes there just aren’t words to express my response to what’s going on. That’s what led me to comics in the first place — a grievous story of walrus stranded by climate change — and it’s what leads me on. What “does not compute” in words can make a connection in visuals.
11 March 2022
My Twitter feed is full of calls for peace. And last week’s #AntarcticLog post had a call for “more science!” Coming right up. Actually, Antarctica is proof that we can have peace and science, and that the countries of the world can come together to secure it.
4 March 2022
Palmer is on Anvers Island on the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, a prime location for biology, such as Oregon State University researcher Thomas DesVignes’ study of icefish, aided by fishing from the deck of the Laurence M. Gould. Palmer’s supply ship…
28 February 2022
The standard scientific method begins with an observation. Then the scientist will create a hypothesis, collect evidence, test their theory, analyze data, and make a final conclusion. So much goes on behind the scenes before that data is available to the public and most people are even aware of a problem.
18 February 2022
Meet Ian Cortez, a roughneck (driller) working to bring sediment up from the seafloor to give scientists data that will allow them to tell the story of Antarctica’s deep past. Ian’s a second-generation roughneck, inspired by his father, who did as Ian is doing — leaving home and family in the Philippines to work at sea aboard the JR.