Weekly Science Sightings

Weekly Science Sightings: Recap and Forecast (December 12-14)

Science and Society from Here

Yes, it’s only been two days, but habits have to start sometime.

This week on To See Science:


First official week! Still designing the site and preparing articles for the next few weeks/month. Thanks for the patience as we get this thing going!

Wednesday (12.12.12)

Jason Abdilla posted two pieces: the first looked at scientific insularity and the problem of communicating important science to the public, especially as it concerns public health; and the second briefly discussed Jerry’s Map: a map that artist Jerry Gretzinger created that reflects the topographies of his imagination, which Jason argues is a skill that all map-making, whether objective or imaginary, requires.

Coming up on To See Science: 

Sunday (12/16/12)Humanistic Approach to STEM Education by Bryan Shao-Chang Wee

Bryan Shao-Chang Wee, an assistant professor of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Colorado, Denver, posts a talk he recently gave at an Auraria Campus symposia on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education (STEM).

Wednesday (12.19.12)

Possibly another gust post (TBA).

Thursday (12.20.12) The Bitter Science of Killing Pain by Jason Abdilla 

A brief look a some research that studies the masking of painkiller bitterness using milk and sugar (perhaps Mary Poppins was on to something). He explores how this scientifically irrational sense of taste complicates clinical research and practice, and how human sense and subjectivity are inescapable problems for an entirely objective, rational pursuit of knowledge.

Friday (12.21.12)

Lost in Translation: Making Biomedical Research Useful with Translational Science by Jason Abdilla

Building on the themes from a post on 12.12.12 and Thursday’s (12.20.12) post, Jason continues looking at the complications involved in making science accesible and applicable outside insular science communities, as well as how to assess the efficacy of new biomedical research without incorporating subjective notions of “efficacy.”

Science Sightings this Week*:

Science and Public Health: Collaboration Wanted! 

Research from the University of Washington shows that death by disease, malnutrition, and viruses are decreasing around the globe, but there is still a disconnect between “science at the bench” and it’s application in clinical practice at the social interface: The cure? For public health to continue increasing, a collaborative intelectual infrastructure is needed among seemingly disparate disciplines (e.g. basic researchers and clinical scientists, geographers and city planners, artists and engineers).

K-pop “Biostyle”? Well, here’s one way to study for an exam…

A biology teacher from a Cleveland, Ohio high school uses South Korean k-pop artist PSY‘s song, “Gagnam Style”, to help his students study for an exam. Though the grades are still to be seen, I can imagine seeing your high school science teacher shed his lab coat for a pair of wayfarers and a cheap suit, and parodying a quirky k-pop song–just to help you learn!–is not something you’ll quickly forget. Now if we can just get Richard Dawkins to do this for evolutionary biology (I think a parody of Gaga’s Poker Face would be best), then we may solve the whole Evolution v. Creation debate.

Computer Science Week: Truly Interdisciplinary? 

Tomorrow (12/15/12) is the final day for National Computer Science Education week (CSed). The computer sciences–a fusion of traditional scientific thinking and emergent technology–is touted as having the potential to stave off social and economic ills. Undoubtedly, computer science is a powerful and relevant skill for future citizens and leaders to understand and use, but while looking through the justifying reasons for why this science merits national public funding, any mention of other sciences (much less any environmentally focused sciences) is left wanting. Though a CSed enthusiast might say, “it’s implied, of course other sciences are involved,” perhaps making this collaboration and connection explicit (e.g. how is computer science helping us manage natural resources better?) will give CSed the edge it needs to cut through the mire of funding requests for public education.

*Click on embedded links for sources

One thought on “Weekly Science Sightings: Recap and Forecast (December 12-14)

  1. Pingback: Global Disease Burden: Issues of Transparency and Sharing | To see science

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