“I’m not a science person.” How many times have you heard someone say that? Even though 2019 State of Science Index by 3M indicates that 87 percent of people around the world agree we need science to solve the world’s problems, many are intimidated by the subject.
A great way to combat that is to tell the stories of how science has changed the world and our place in it.
One high-profile example is the Oscar-winning movie Hidden Figures, which tells the story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three African-American women at NASA who sent John Glenn into orbit in 1962.
Publisher: Popular Science
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Scientists Who Selfie: Building Public Trust Through Social Media
The paper, led by Dr. Paige Jarreau, shows that survey respondents (1,620 in total) found scientists posting selfies (or self-portraits, if you didn’t know) were perceived as warmer and more trustworthy, yet no less competent, than scientists posting photos of only their work. The indication here is clear. People respond to the human element. The story behind the science.
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A pervasive impression of scientists is that we are nerdy, aloof, and generally socially inept. This stereotype is so ingrained it even forms the central focus of TV shows like the Big Bang Theory where male scientists are obsessive, fumbling geeks, while female scientists are either incredibly nerdy, or hypersexualized. This tired trope has become a lens through which the general public has come to view scientists. Counter to this, scientists may also be perceived as competent, but cold. You can pick your own movie scientist for this one, there are . . .’ a few. However, platforms such as Twitter and Instagram (the focus of this study) allow scientists to individuate* themselves and connect to their audience. ‘While a picture of some beakers on a lab bench perpetuates the detached narrative of science we have come to embrace, a person working at that bench carries with it that human connection. People begin to see the folks who do scientist, folks who look just like all the other folks. They just sometimes wear lab coats, or fish turtles from ponds, or stare at computer screens and pound on their desk because their code isn’t working. You know, you and me ‘.
Publisher: PLOS Ecology Community
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Move Over 3D Printers: Scientists Grow Mother-of
One natural substance scientists have studied as a model for creating synthetic materials is nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl.
Being an exceptionally tough, stiff material produced by some mollusks and serving as their inner shell layer, it also comprises the outer layer of pearls, giving them their lustrous shine.
But while nacre’s unique properties make it an ideal inspiration in the creation of synthetic materials, most methods used to produce artificial nacre are complex and energy intensive.