Science is not a bunch of facts. Scientists are not people trying to be prescriptive or authoritative. Science is simply the word we use to describe a method of organising our curiosity. It’s easier, at a dinner party, to say “science” than to say “the incremental acquisition of understanding through observation, humbled by an acute awareness of our tendency towards bias.” Douglas Adams said: “I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.”
Science is not the opposite of art, nor the opposite of spirituality - whatever that is - and you don’t have to deny scientific knowledge in order to make beautiful things.
”—Tim Minchin’s foreword to The Best Australian Science Writing 2013 (via the SMH)
What physics have to do with genetically modified foods ? I need some explanation please ? I can't think of any .
Nothing in particular.
I get the impression that you are assuming that this blog is intended to be purely about physics. Although there is a focus on physics, I like to share things about science in general. GM food comes under the ‘other science related topics’ that I refer to in this blogs description.
Men and women are quite simply different, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Oh hey, look at this really gross article I stumbled across! Apparently the huge gender gap in the STEM fields isn’t due to the centuries of gender discrimination and ongoing boys club mentality of many STEM disciplines. Nope. It is totally because those of us with lady parts just aren’t good at science! Or in the words of the author, “the real reason fewer women pursue STEM degrees, which is largely a function of biological differences.” Well, glad some contributor at Forbes with no science background could clear that one up for us.
On a more serious note, I also tend to agree with the sentiment that a super fancy daycare center is not going to encourage more women to go into STEM - but for entirely different reasons (and I use this term as loosely as possible) than the author of this above “article” (again, using the term loosely). The reason that such initiatives won’t fix the gender gap in the sciences is that it fails to address the many other reasons women feel like they don’t have a home in the STEM world. And not to mention that this is happening on the campus of MIT and I would wager that the majority of soon-to-be or current undergrads and even a good number of grad students are not looking at the quality of the daycare on campus as a deciding factor in either their choice of school or academic program.
Also, if you really want a good lol, check out the rest of this Forbes contributor’s articles. You could probably make a neat little drinking game where you down a shot of something every time she makes a shameless plug for her conservative women’s organization (yes, you read that correctly). Hell, maybe I will start my own little study to see how much alcohol you have to consume to make any of her nonsense seem plausible. Too bad I have a lady-brain and am therefore not biologically apt enough to do so. One of my male followers may have to take this one up for me …
I’ve been stuck thinking about something my friend asked me on Friday. It’s both saddened and inspired me (I suppose this can be a decent answer to people who ask why I’ve majored in physics).
After talking about degrees and research plans we both have he asked me, “How do you feel knowing that you’re probably the only [Native] woman to major in nuclear physics?”
It shocked me. I know I’m not the first or last Native woman to major in physics (let alone nuclear physics), but it still hit me full-force right in the face; it left me winded. How do I feel knowing that there are so few Natives (men and women) in STEM, in general?
It breaks my heart. That’s how I feel. I feel depressed, and angry.
It depresses me that there are other Natives who have had a similar life to mine (stuck on the rez, unsupportive environment, uncontrollable apathy) be turned away from science, and I partly understand why there are so few of us in STEM. There’s other reasons why it was reported in 2009 that only 117 Natives earned a degree in physical sciences. But in general it boils down to the sociological aspect of Native living that exists in North America as of today.
It makes me angry that there are so few men and women Natives in STEM due to apathy and unsupportive environments. I was once told I would never be a scientist because I was dumb. I was told I would stay on the reservation forever, ending up either kidnapped or dead from a heart attack at the age of 40. This happens all over the country whether through explicitly said or felt by the actions of our society.
It makes me angry that on some statistical reports there is a footnote saying “Native American women/men were too low to report”.
It doesn’t make me happy to be one of the few, but it does make me want to work harder so I can help others who have walked in my shoes, and help those who haven’t but still need a helping hand.
It gives me just the right amount of kick on my behind that allows me to imagine myself as a professor one day, who has successfully managed to reach out to other Natives and show them that despite getting the short, shit end of the stick I was able to use it as a weapon in my educational fight alongside some of the most oppressive people I know.
This news is a few days old but I wanted to post some good news and this is really really good news and really really important!
Nuclear fusion (unlike nuclear fission) produces NO radioactive waste, NO pollution, has a carbon footprint of ZERO and uses hydrogen obtained from water as its fuel. That means its fuel is potentially limitless.
In theory it’s possible to get a controlled fusion reaction which would a) produce more energy than it takes to get going, and b) be self-sustaining. There’s nothing in physics or engineering that would make a nuclear fusion power plant - essentially, clean, non-polluting, almost limitless energy - impossible. It’s just been very difficult to achieve. Physicists have said fusion power will be “oh, 50 years away” for the past 60 years now. Yeah.
But now… with a breakthrough like this… we could literally just be a few decades away from it. The consequences for humanity for having a working fusion power plant will make this one of the biggest boosts to our civilisation in human history, and a few days ago, it became a step closer.