Top 5 misconceptions about evolution: A guide to demystify the foundation of modern biology.

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Here is an infographic to help inform citizens.  From my experience most people who misunderstand evolution are actually misinformed about what science is and how it operates.  That said, here are five of the biggest barriers faced when one explains evolution - I have faced these and they are documented in the literature.

I hope you can build on my work and improve the communication between the scientists and the public.

Want to do more?  If you want to donate to the cause of science education I suggest the National Center for Science Education, your local university, or an equivalent organization.  Volunteering at schools and inviting scientists into classrooms are two ways to encourage an informed society.  Attend hearings if school boards start questioning evolution’s role in public curriculum.  Raise a storm if anyone tries to ban science.  Plus, it never hurts to reblog a well made evolution post.

Thank you followers for all your support!

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The Only Woman in the Computer Science Department

Irene Greif always thought she’d be a teacher. “For one thing,” she told me, “I’d been told by my mother that it was good to be a teacher because you just worked the hours your kids were in school and you could come home.” It had just always been the profession in the back of her mind, the default.

So then it must have been a bit of a shock when, after becoming the first woman ever to receive a Ph.D. in computer science from MIT, Greif discovered that she didn’t really enjoy teaching—she much preferred research. And so eventually she left teaching as a professor and did what she did best: studying, thinking, and figuring systems out. She founded a research field, computer-supported cooperative work, and has spent her life figuring out how to build better systems for humans to work together.

Greif recently retired from IBM, where she’d been since the mid-‘90s, and is hoping to devote some time to encouraging young women to go into STEM fields and coaching them to stick with them—a twist on teaching that she does genuinely like.

Read more. [Image courtesy of Irene Greif]


These 6-Year-Old Girls Stage a Revolution in the Aisles of Toys R Us
WomenYSK shared in Video, Stem Education and Engineering

This video is brought to us by GoldieBlox, a toy company creating engineering toys for girls founded in 2012 by Debbie Sterling, a female engineer from Stanford University.

“It’s 2013. It’s about time we opened our girls’ minds beyond the pink aisle at the toy store. It’s time to build a new story so our girls can help build our future.”

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Math and Science Educational Tip of the Week: Having Convos about STEM with your Child

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a STEM professional to have conversations about STEM with your child. STEM is all around us and is a part of our everyday lives, so it can be easy to have conversations about STEM. It can be as simple as talking about STEM in your home, from the electronic devices, electrical and plumbing systems, recycling and composting that may take place in your neighborhood. You can have great discussions about how things work in society such as cars, planes, bridges, weather, pollution etc.  For all your kids, you can discuss things that happen in the news that may be related to STEM and read articles about STEM. For your older kids that are on social media, you can have them follow STEM related pages such as CDC, Scientific American, Engineering Go For It, among others and discuss what comes in their Facebook Feed and/or Twitter Timelines. Whether your child is interested in STEM or not, it is an important skill set for them to have the ability to be able to talk about STEM. The ability to talk about STEM is a key component of being scientifically literate.


Top 5 misconceptions about evolution: A guide to demystify the foundation of modern biology.

Version 2.0

Donate here to support science education.  
National Center for Science Education

Thank you followers for all your support!

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Teaching Evolution to Students Who Tell Me They’ll Pray for My Soul

To teach evolution at the University of Kentucky is to teach at an institution steeped in the history of defending evolution education. The first effort to pass an anti-evolution law (led by William Jennings Bryan) happened in Kentucky in 1921. It proposed making the teaching of evolution illegal. The university’s president at that time, Frank McVey, saw this bill as a threat to academic freedom. Three faculty members—William Funkhouser, a zoologist; Arthur Miller, a geologist who taught evolution; and Glanville Terrell, a philosopher—joined McVey in the battle to prevent the bill from becoming law. They put their jobs on the line. Through their efforts, the anti-evolution bill was defeated by a 42­–41 vote in the state legislature. Consequently, the movement turned its attention toward Tennessee.

Rachel and I both went to high school and undergraduate in Kentucky schools. This article is a great read about some of the difficult aspects of teaching evolution in a not so receptive classroom. 

The roots of gender and racial bias run deep. While a lot of progress has been made in the last few decades, we still have a long way to go until all people—including women and people of color—are perceived as equals, and until that happens, we need to continue the conversation of gender and race.
—  Brookhaven scientist Jessica Metcalfe in an interview with the U.S. Department of Energy on diversifying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). She has more to say on opportunity and equality, and she also gets into the thrill of hunting for new physics inside the subatomic maelstroms of LHC collisions. Go read it.

“I never really had any exposure to engineering, which is why I joined the UberBots team. It gave me direction and showed me what it would be like to be an engineer. Working with real engineers hands-on—and seeing the way they go about solving tough problems—is one of the things that made me realize i wanted to become an engineer.” — Ellen McIsaac, Senior Aeronautical Engineer, Lockheed Martin

Qualcomm has sponsored the FIRST Robotics Competition since 2007, helping to spark passion for science, technology, engineering and math—known collectively as STEM—in young minds. We’re highlighting some of the FIRST alums who are doing great things in the world of engineering, astrophysics, and mathematics.


Listen to yourself and don’t worry what others think. Be who you want to be.

– Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s ‪#‎DearMe‬ video advice to her 13-year-old self.

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles lately about STEM education at the cost of liberal arts education and how our students are going to lose out on foreign language education because of the focus on STEM in this country and those are all interesting conversations but what seems disjointed to me is…

  • I don’t know any scientists who don’t also support liberal arts
  • I know so many scientists coming from liberal arts institutions
  • I know so many scientists who practice some form of art in their daily lives for enjoyment and even sometimes as a job (Did I ever tell you about the time my Pchem professor wanted help booking a metal gig?)
  • I might know one peer who I know isn’t thrilled by art but still values it 
  • I know very few mono-lingual scientists. Even my USian peers, most of us have proficiency in at least one foreign language.

I don’t know if this is due to how scientists write, or how we write about and present ourselves, or if because the venn diagram of scientists and persons influencing STEM education is not necessarily a circle or other possibilities but it has just been on my mind today. 

Get your groove on for science! This little robot is helping kids get amped for science and engineering as part of a Long Island education program where students learn programming. Brookhaven is part of the Long Island STEM Hub, which celebrated its first anniversary last year with a robot dance party and a display of student research and local STEM career opportunities. And we’re hoping to dance right into a future where New York becomes the next Silicon Valley.