Archive for the 'Activism' category

Want to Spread SCIENCE!? Help us get to GeekGirlCon!

Oct 01 2013 Published by under Activism

As you may know, I and a bunch of fabulous sciencey people got permission this year to set up a DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon! We'll be making fossils out of coffee grounds, neurons out of pipe cleaners, extracting DNA, genetic taste testing, dancing raisins, and showing the people there that scientists are fun, fantastic people!

But in order to do that...we need to get there, and that means we need money, for travel, supplies, etc. Can you help us out? We're over halfway to our goal of $6000!

And if you help us out, we will make it worth your while! We will perform highly embarrassing acts of whimsy. We've already done some, and they've been fabulous! Do you want to see:

  • For $2500, @DNLee5 will do a terrible re-enactment of @SamuelLJackson's demise in Deep Blue Sea with the help of me and @Lalsox at GGC. We're confident our shark will actually look better than the one in the movie...
  • Sock puppets performing a (much shorter!) re-enactment of Prometheus, corrected for science and common sense? YES! The budget of Prometheus was about ~$130 million, but @Sargent will stage Sockmetheus if we raise a mere $3000!
  • If we reach $4000, we'll do a 5 minute (or less!) re-enactment of a movie at GGC and upload it to YouTube. We'll use a reader poll to select the movie! I suspect we'll be horribly acting our way through some Nicholas Sparks adaptation...
  • When we've raised $5000, we'll dance a jig. Seriously, a jig. And yes, we'll be dancing it badly.
  • We'll faint if we raise $6000. Probably onto fainting couches, of course. A few of us won't just faint, we'll do a Leyomi Drop.
  • Yes. If we raise enough, I will compose you a science song! Haven't you always wanted one!? For you, I will listed to Miley Cyrus or Gotye, or something else, and you will hear the sweet strains of "Fund Me Maybe." You know this is what you want.

    So please help us out if you can! Help us to spread science to the people!

    4 responses so far

    Help Us Spread Science To GeekGirlCon!!

    Sep 02 2013 Published by under Activism

    I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I actually had relatively little science exposure. I wasn't one of those kids who won prizes at the science fair, because I didn't have scientist parents to lend me their labs (I did something totally lame with daffodils). I got my main exposure when I went to something called Nature Camp (I had had bad experiences with regular camp, and this one promised classes! Classes were something I could do). I was a kid, interested in nature, and IT. WAS. AWESOME. Seriously. That camp became the best two weeks out of every single summer until I graduated. By the time I finished the first year (we took classes and I "majored" in entomology, because BUGS), I was a full blown science nerd. And all it took was a little exposure.

    And a bunch of us would like to bring a little bit of that exposure to GeekGirlCon! We got a table accepted to give attendees a taste of DIY SCIENCE!

     

    We will run the zone all day Saturday, October 19th (day #1 of GGC) and half the day on Sunday, October 20th (day #2).  Who is "we"?  To name but a few...

    The DIY Science Zone will be in a high-traffic area of GGC, which is at the Washington State Convention Center.  We've picked activities well-suited for (1) a variety of ages, (2) are affordable when scaled up to large audiences, (3) can be done mostly with household ingredients, and (4) with low messiness factors.   What will the zone offer?

    • DNA extraction made easy!
    • Are you bitter? A genetic taste test.
    • Magic breath! Acid-base chemistry of the body.
    • CSI: GGC! Finding latent prints using ninhydrin.
    • Coffee ground fossils! Perfect for Seattle.
    • Neuron know-how! Build your own & learn how they work.
    • Slime-to-go!  Make your own bag of goo.
    • Making craters! Please bring your own sound effects.
    • Dancing raisins!  No choreography skills required.
    • Nature notebooks! A mix of art & nature.

    Some of these projects will be scheduled, while others are drop-in activities.  All scheduled activities will occur several times during the operation of the zone, giving GGC attendees plenty of opportunities to experiment in the zone!

     

    Awesome RIGHT?! I am hoping to run the build your own neuron station. Fun for every age and you take home your own neuron! We're already assured an attendence of awesome geek ladies, and we want to give them a little science to take home!

     

    But...first we need to get there. And pay for it. This is, obviously, not any of our real time jobs, and in the case of some of us...$$$ is what's standing between us and GeekGirlCon. Can you help us out?!

    Items include:

    What will your cash be spent on?

    1. Zone supplies (activity ingredients, tarps, cleaning supplies, etc.)
    2. Zone advertising (banners, flyers, posters, etc.) - being in a high traffic area helps, but we'll still need to advertise around the con!
    3. Two-day GGC badges for zone workers
    4. Two hotel rooms for zone workers within a short walking distance of the con
    5. Airfare assistance to zone workers needed financial help

    How much are we looking to raise?  $5000-$6000.  Items #4 and #5 are the biggest expenses and here's why that money is worth it...

    WHY is the money worth it? Because we are willing to make complete asses of ourselves to get the science to the people! Here's what we'll do:

    What are we willing to do to get your money?  Acts of whimsy for each fundraising milestone reached!

    • For every $100 raised, @DrMRFrancis will wear his Cthulhu hat in public.  Photographs will be provided!  UNLOCKED!

    • If the Royal Society of Chemistry donates $100, I'll wear a tiara and welcome my students with the royal wave to one class session.

    • @Chemjobber is known for his ceramic duck, which is his Twitter avatar. If $300 is raised, he will change his duck's hat (and outfit?) by popular demand, no matter how silly. If we reach $750, he will answer with "Quack!" at GGC whenever someone says, "Hey, CJ!"

    • My feelings about Nickelback are well-known.

    no nickelbackFor every $500 raised, I will listen to a different Nickelback album.  Surprisingly, there appear to be 7 Nickelback albums.  Just how will I prove I've listened to each album? Google Hangouts On Air! @DNLee5  will join me as she loves Nickelback.  UPDATE: @docfreeride is strongly advises against Nickelback consumption and will donate to have me NOT listen to Nickelback.  Mark your donation "NO NB" and you might be able to save me!  It'll take "NO NB"  funds equal $500 to save me from each album.

    • If Nature Publishing Group (NPG) donates $500, we'll stage a dramatic reading of a paper in Nature Methods. WITH PROPS.
    • When we reach $1000, we will bust out in song! We'll do a group sing-a-long video via Google Hangouts On Air and you'll be able to vote on which song we 'll sing!  My vote is for Don't Stop Believin' by Journey.
    • What happens when you Mad Libs somebody's thesis abstract?!  Hi-Lar-Ity! We'll take to Google Hangouts On Air, where @NoisyAstromer will lead us in this game of nouns, verbs, and adverbs.  We'll make this happen for every $1000 we raise - using our own abstracts!
    • Will we sell-out to corporations? You know it! If you're a business and you donate $1000, we'll drop product placements in all Google Hangouts On Airs and videos. Say you're the American Chemical Society... I will personally wear your t-shirt, while drinking from your coffee mug, all while using your pen to play cowbell in our music videos.  The more money you donate, the more product placement!  NOTE: we're scientists, so no quack products will be featured and we're got to keep it clean, so no NSFW.
    • Not a corporation, but able to donate a lump sum of $500 or more?  @Lalsox will knit you a set of personalized zombie dolls (see below)!  Limited to five sets.

    zombie dolls

    • When we've raised $1500, @Scicurious will write a science version of a pop song and @DrMRFrancis will perform it!  I'll accompany with cowbell!
    • Wouldn't you want to see @Seelix's cat dressed-up as each of The Avengers?  When we hit $2000, The Catavengers will happen!
    • For $2500, @DNLee5 will do a terrible re-enactment of @SamuelLJackson's demise in Deep Blue Sea with the help of  me and @Lalsox at GGC.  We're confident our shark will actually look better than the one in the movie...
    • Sock puppets performing a (much shorter!) re-enactment of Prometheus, corrected for science and common sense? YES!  The budget of Prometheus was about ~$130 million, but @Sargent will stage Sockmetheus if we raise a mere $3000!
    • If we reach $4000, we'll do a 5 minute (or less!) re-enactment of a movie at GGC and upload it to YouTube.  We'll use a reader poll to select the movie! I suspect we'll be horribly acting our way through some Nicholas Sparks adaptation...
    • When we've raised $5000, we'll dance a jig. Seriously, a jig.  And yes, we'll be dancing it badly.
    • We'll faint if we raise $6000. Probably onto fainting couches, of course.  A few of us won't just faint, we'll do a Leyomi Drop.

    Yes. If we raise enough, I will compose you a science song! Haven't you always wanted one!? For you, I will listed to Miley Cyrus or Gotye, or something else, and you will hear the sweet strains of "Fund Me Maybe." You know this is what you want.

    And also, there's the opportunity to torture Dr. Rubidium with Nickleback. Heck, I'm donating to that one. >:)

    So please help us out if you can! We're so excited to be able to get people interested in science, and we'd hate to be shut down for lack of funds. 🙁 Click here to donate, and THANK YOU in advance!

     

    2 responses so far

    ScioDc TONIGHT

    Jul 10 2013 Published by under Activism, Uncategorized

    So, Science Online DC is having a get together tonight to talk about online commenting. How we deal with it, who does it, and what it does to us. And I'll be there, giving my bit of the tale. Come on out for some pizza and beer!

    No responses yet

    Support the Brain on Wheels!

    Jun 08 2013 Published by under Activism

    Sometimes, in order to do new and exciting type of science outreach, you have to think outside the box. Or, perhaps, outside the building. Why bring people to the brain, when you can bring the brain to the people?

    TTT-model
    (Source)

    The brain child (you see what I did there) of graduating senior Tyler Alterman, the Think Tank is a cognitive science lab on wheels. It will go to schools and museums, letting teachers and students plan and conduct their own experiments. The team of the Think Tank will also be conducting some experiments of their own (all with IRB approval).

    Below, Tyler was nice enough to answer some questions for me about the project!

    Continue Reading »

    No responses yet

    Calling all Brave Travelers

    May 28 2013 Published by under Academia, Activism

    I want to talk to the scientists out there who are doing world-shaking work. Hello? Does anybody know your names?

    So begins yet another "call to arms" for scientists. We aren't communicating, we aren't getting out there and making Star Trek-like movies about the inner biology of the cell (which I would TOTALLY watch and help with, btw), and this is, entirely, our fault.

    I like a lot of these calls to arms. I think they are important, as many scientists still hide away, convinced that in times of difficult funding, they just need to, you know, submit two grants per cycle instead of one, and well aware that they do not get anything professionally out of giving a TED talk. Scientists get no direct benefits from sci comm, making the long-term benefits much less salient. But while I think they are important, the details of some of these calls bug me. The current example is no exception.

    So to this latest piece on Medium, here is my response to your question:

    "I want to talk to the people who think they can fix the Science PR problem by getting all scientists to do [X]*. Hello? Have you been on the internet lately?"

    *Where [X] is one thing, say, that all scientists should blog or should all communicate in some manner. I personally believe that we could fix it all with all Nobel Prize Winners sitting for LOLcat photo shoots, but then, I know I'm too idealistic.

    CATS-jp2-articleLarge
    (Henri knows how I feel about most things. Source)

    Continue Reading »

    14 responses so far

    Neurodome!

    Apr 30 2013 Published by under Academia, Activism

    I don't know about you, but I love planetarium shows. I'm not even a huge fan of space, but I could go to those things all day. And of course, the planetarium shows aren't always about space, often they've got sharks or rainforests. It's a great educational experience, and wonderfully immersive.

    But I have always thought some fields were left out. I mean, how do you show the gastrointestinal tract in surround? I could imagine that getting a little...gutsy. Even so, I've always wondered, why is there no planetarium show about neuroscience? Perhaps there are some, but I've never seen them. And it's too bad. Because neuroscience is one of those fields, to me, that really can get planetarium sized. With a whole planetarium to fill you could show neural networks, electrical activity, pathways. A neuroscience planetarium show would be so inspiring, showing people the vastness of this tiny 3 lb lump in our heads, and how much we still don't know.

    And now, there are people who are trying to make it HAPPEN! I recently heard about Neurodome, a proposed planetarium show that will incorporate space and neuroscience, trying to explain why we explore. It will show things like how we currently understand neural networks, and of course there will be lots of brain imaging (which I can understand. Mice running mazes doesn't really get better in planetarium-size). They also want to incorporate their content into educational programs, to help more kids get education about the brain.

    I think this could be a really cool project, and I'm glad to see they've started a Kickstarter! So if you think this idea is as cool as I do, send a few bucks their way and let them know!

    NEURODOME Trailer from fisherworks on Vimeo.

    4 responses so far

    AAAS Science and Social Media recap!

    Feb 18 2013 Published by under Academia, Activism

    Sci was at AAAS last week to give a talk on Scientists and Social Media! We had a great audience with lots of questions, and I was so glad that people felt engaged! Of course, not everyone could make the talk, so if you WANTED to and couldn't, I have put up my slides and the text of my talk over at SciAm Blogs! It's got all the links to the things that I mentioned so that you can check out some of these sites for yourself. I'd be glad to take more questions as well as comments, rants, and potentially raves. So please head over and check out the science and social media recap!

    One response so far

    #scio13 Wrapup Number 2: On Identity

    Feb 06 2013 Published by under Academia, Activism

    Sci is at SciAm Blogs today, wrapping up my second session from Science Online 2013, a session on Identity. We had a really productive discussion, and we'd like to build on it! Is there a way that you use your identity in your writing? Is there a way you could use one of your identities differently? What are they? We'd like to hear from you, and see your submissions to the Diversity in Science Carnival! Head over, check it out, and we'd love to see your submissions!

    No responses yet

    Scio13 Wrapup ONE: Blogging for the Long Haul!

    Feb 04 2013 Published by under Academia, Activism

    Sci is back from Science Online 2013. It was so lovely to hang out with wonderful old internet friends and to meet so many new ones! It's one of my favorite conferences, full of deep (and often highly silly) conversations about science communication. It always leaves me re-energized, and even more eager to do it again next year!! Over at SciAm Blogs, I've got the first wrap up of the science online session: blogging for the long haul. For those of us who want to, or who need to, continue to blog, what keeps us motivated? How do you keep going when you're feeling uninspired? I've got a storify and my own advice up over at SciAm, but I'd love to hear yours! What keeps you going? Why do you want to keep blogging? Let me know, and I'll be glad to add ideas to the post!

    No responses yet

    ECAST: Citizen science and citizen policy

    Jan 07 2013 Published by under Activism

    Sci is at Scientific American Blogs today, talking about a great new project for getting informed citizen voices involved in science policy. ECAST is a fantastic new initiative that makes great efforts to get citizens directly involved with science policy, and an even better effort to make sure people from all walks of life are represented. I think the project has a lot of potential and I'm very proud to highlight it today. Head over and check it out!

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