science and scientists

instagram

Sea ice swaying in waves, just off of Elephant Island, Antarctica

5

Lego announces new set themed around the women of NASA

  • Toy manufacturer Lego Group has announced it will be creating a set of Legos based around the women of NASA, Community Specialist Hasan Jensen wrote in a blog post for the company on Tuesday.
  • The idea for the project was originally pitched by Maia Weinstock, who submitted it to Lego through the company’s Lego Ideas program.
  • The set will include five women who contributed to NASA’s mission, including computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, mathematician Katherine Johnson, astronaut Sally Ride, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman and astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to enter space in 1992. Read more (2/28/17 5:53 PM)

follow @the-future-now

Report: Trump’s pick for Dept. of Agriculture’s chief scientist is not a scientist

  • According to a report in ProPublica, Trump’s expected pick to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist is not a scientist.
  • It’s Sam Clovis, a former Trump campaign adviser with no formal scientific qualifications.
  • Clovis has taken no graduate-level science courses, has published “almost no academic work” and is primarily known for hosting a conservative talk radio show in Iowa, according to ProPublica. Read more (5/15/17)

follow @the-future-now

instagram


wildlifefirst
 Meet the nodosaur — the plant-eating armored dinosaur! Discovered by miners in Alberta, it is the best-preserved fossil of its kind.

I really do believe that at least part of the problem of people distrusting science has to do with how we as scientists portray ourselves.

We have actively created a system where we derive authority from being seen as better/smarter/more competent than everyone else and then when people ask why they should trust us we respond with a very condescending version of ‘because SCIENCE IS FACT’ or something along those lines.

Like, consider how that would feel from the outside? Here are a small group of people who you have never met/interacted with who sequester themselves in impenetrable ~elite institutions that you can’t access and don’t feel party to who then tell you that what they say is fact because they’re smarter and better educated than you. And if you ever try to question them (no matter how reasonable your objections may be/seem to you) they condescendingly pat you on the head and say something like ‘don’t worry we know better. you can’t possibly understand what we do.’

Why the hell would you trust them? 

No one likes being told that they’re not smart enough to understand something, and no one likes feeling excluded from something they’ve essentially been asked to accept sight unseen. 

I don’t really have a solution to this, except some vague notion about working harder to portray scientists as people working a job, rather than geniuses who are above it all. 

And like trying harder to understand where people are coming from when they question science. And remembering that being better educated than most doesn’t make us smarter than most. It just makes us better trained in certain types of thinking.

I just think we need to keep in mind what we are asking of people. Which is to put a whole hell of a lot of faith in us.