If women see STEM positions as inhospitable working environments, online or otherwise, then it is our responsibility to work toward creating inclusive environments conducive to work by all. YouTube is only part of a much larger struggle toward equality in the workplace.

In my experience, I have been asked everything from if I have a stylist, to if I dress “nerdy” to better fit in my “role,” to what my reaction would be if approached to pose for Playboy. Scientists who take pride in their appearance should not also have to worry about their discoveries and accomplishments being undermined by questions about where they get their clothes or if they would consider increasing the popularity of their published works by taking those clothes off.

If we want to see diversity in these fields, there has to be a conscious rejection of and intolerance toward remarks in the media that diminish these achievements.


Emily Graslie of science YouTube channel “The Brain Scoop” who recently fired back at some YouTube trolls for paying more attention to her appearance than the subject matter in this video which went viral late last year.


Corundum, also affectionately referred to as sapphire, is a rock-forming mineral composed of aluminum oxide, and is mined from alluvial deposits. It’s gorgeous on its own natural and unpolished, so there’s no wonder that we have found ways to cut and shape it to our liking.

All of these specimens can be seen in the Grainger Hall of Gems.

  • Sapphire crystal on matrix, from Madagascar
  • Natural sapphire crystal from Kashmir, India
  • Faceted sapphires from Sri Lanka
  • Edwardian carved sapphire and diamonds set in platinum pendant - 60.2-carat sapphire

Mammal Monday, Chital. This deer commonly inhabits wooded regions of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and in small numbers in Pakistan. The coat is permanently spotted like a fawn.

© The Field Museum, Z79025.

Detail of the Chital or Axis Deer from diorama, Central India, Zoology specimen 25702.

8x10 negative Cellulose acetate.



ehmeegee thebrainscoop I opened my college newspaper today and freaked out when I saw that you are in it!! Bill Nye just did a lecture at my small college, Elmhurst College, and the article recommends The Brain Scoop, MinutePhysics, and Veritasium as things to watch if you’re a Bill Nye fan! I’ve never been more proud of my newspaper; they really did their research!


so this was a thing that happened today.

Seriously, Emily is so wonderfully passionate about her job and that natural sciences. And she’s hilarious too! 
The meet and greet was really chill and Emily was so  gracious, and smart, and genuine about everything. ( I also learned that female caribou have antlers to move the snow away so they can eat grass, NEAT)  She told the group that a majority of the researches that work there and and undergraduate in art. Which just totes mcgoats cool. 

Any way, it was an awesome day; one of the best I’ve ever had. I got to meet a role model of mine. 

Best Wishes to you Emily.

And keep on creepin’ on Soon Racoon. 

Field Museum, Swan, 1891, Terry Evans, 2001, Iris Print.

The photograph is by Terry Evans and captures a trumpeter swan specimen, preserved for more than a hundred years at the Chicago Field Museum. The swan, its neck curved back upon its body, is bound with a wide swath of coarse cotton, which is unevenly secured by random stitches. An aged tag attached to the bird’s foot with a thin, twisted wire is the only touch of color in the otherwise black-and-white composition.
Evans photographed hundreds of specimens from the drawers of the Chicago Field Museum. In a quest to understand the wildlife of the prairie, scientists gathered plants, insects, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Turning her lens on the subjects sometimes unsettled Evans, whose parents were dying as she worked on this project. When I asked her about the image of the swan, she told me, “It is hanging in my living room. Its beauty and sadness sum up everything I thought about the specimens that I photographed. I found it extremely sad to realize that the swan had to be killed in order to study it, but I also was moved by the care in the way it was prepared. I think of that muslin that wraps it as a shroud.” (architectural digest)

In the late 20’s Early 30’s there was a class at the Art Institute of Chicago that had its students come to the Field Museum to study and draw inspiration from our collections. This is one of many pieces featured in a book of their drawings. Today we have a similar program with artist in residence Peggy Macnamara who is also a teacher at the Art Institute. You will often see students in chairs sketching away.

© The Field Museum, GN90798d_RDN139.

Black and white drawings of butterflies and beetles with decorative borders. Research Design in Nature plate.

Original Print


I feel the need to clarify this image a bit after posting it on Instagram yesterday. 

This is a representation of the many species of migratory birds that die flying into downtown Chicago buildings each year. There are more than 70 different species represented, but as many as 2,000 individual birds collide with windows on their routes in the Chicago downtown area alone. Although this is a beautiful image, it is not really what I would call ‘cool’ or ‘neat’.

These birds are not stupid. This is not an example of natural selection. This is a visual representation of the massive amount of impact that we as humans have on the environment around us. It is an indicator that we are in their way, not vice versa. It is ingrained within their DNA that the paths they are following are tried and true, and the safest ways to get from point A to point B each season. For thousands of years these species have followed the shore of Lake Michigan on their annual routes. They cannot see the windows of the high rise buildings because sky scrapers have not existed as long as these birds have been passing through this area, and it is unreasonable for us to expect them to adapt around architectural additions. 

The Chicago Bird Collision Monitors is made up of a large group of volunteers that monitor collisions and fatalities of these birds each year. They work towards rehabilitating injured birds and reporting deaths to places like the Field Museum so we can best find solutions to this ongoing problem. With advocacy and awareness, we will be able to find ways of using bird-friendly glass and lighting so as not to confuse our feathered friends, and hopefully decrease the amount of fatal impacts each year. 

Training for new volunteers begins in August! I highly recommend you look at the schedule and see if you can help out, or look for a similar group in your area.