Achieving full inclusion for people with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics – STEAM – has become a global matter. People with disabilities in STEAM are underrepresented in postsecondary academic environments and the job market…
Wakanda Forever: The chemistry of Vibranium
Proceed with caution as there are some movie spoilers here for those who haven’t already seen the Wakanda Forever: Black Panther movie. If you have seen the movie or even read the Marvel comics, then you should be familiar with the powerful element, Vibranium. Vibranium is an element that possesses astonishing chemical and physical properties…
Using art to teach chemistry
When it comes to Art and Chemistry, we typically see these two subjects as lying on opposite ends of a spectrum. Chemistry is typically associated with someone in a lab coat, mixing up some chemicals in the hopes of not blowing anything up. In contrast, art is often viewed as a form of expression crafted in some type of studio, using creative juices to design a masterpiece. But there is, in fact, a notable overlap between these two subjects…
Deciphering geographers’ lingo
Every academic discipline has its own special words and phrases. However, it is hard to match geography in terms of words that are just curious. Did you know that “space” and “place” mean very different things? That the “Annals” is the hallmark of a geographer’s career? And the “First Law of Geography” is extremely important, but does not always hold true? To decipher the meanings of these words and phrases, we first must come to terms with the most ambiguous word of them all: “geographer”…
What social media has taught me about science
Science communication on social media largely happens through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (you can find the ScIU blog on all three platforms), but in reality, it extends beyond these three primary sites into platforms such as TikTok, Reddit, YouTube, and more. On any one of these platforms, people from around the world are able to form digital communities where they can talk, educate, learn, advocate, and make new friends. I have been the Social Media Chair for ScIU for over a year now, and in that time, I have learned quite a lot about science communication from social media.
A 70% chance to win? The tricky math of election forecasting
The election is almost here and the election forecasters are in full swing. As of October 23rd, the Economist gives Biden a 92% chance of winning, and FiveThirtyEight has him winning 88 out of 100 “simulated” elections. How should we interpret these claims? If you have a coin and you flip it a thousand times, and it lands on heads 500 times and tails 500 times then you may infer it has a 50% probability of landing on heads and a 50% probability tails. Sounds simple, except, we’re not going to run this election thousands of times, we’re only going to run it once.
Are you sure you should eat that?
Amid this pandemic, you may be having conversations with family members similar to my own. I was talking to my brother about going to the grocery store and buying some eggs for baking when I was pretty strictly told that “no, you shouldn’t because the virus can be transmitted through food.” As a scientist myself, this was intriguing advice. So, I asked him to show me where he had read it. Sadly, nowadays when we are bombarded with news at every corner we turn, we were unable to backtrack his source…
Expanding ‘The Matrix’ of science: The Newman lab inside and out
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (PBS) assistant professor Dr. Ehren Newman studies circuitry in the brain, particularly the circuitry that is associated with the making of stories and the retrieval of memories. Newman’s background as a computational neuroscientist enables him to bring a plethora of new insight into his current field of systems cognitive psychology. Memory is a complex process with multiple facets. “We don’t remember everything that happens to us with equal probability,” he observes. “Instead, we have fragmented memories of things of varying lengths.” So, how do we choose which memories to store and later recall?
IU’s take on the cannabis trend
On March 20, 2019, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Professor Emeritus Dr. Brian O’Donnell and Research Scientist Dr. Alex Straiker met with the student community for a Q&A session entitled “Cannabis: Science and Policy.” “IU has been the world center for research regarding cannabinoid signaling,” said Dr. Straiker during his address at the Science Café talk. Having studied cannabinoid signaling for more than 20 years, Dr. Straiker mentions the growing enthusiasm for cannabis use in a variety of forms, like essential oils; not only recreationally, but also for the treatment of anxiety, autoimmune disease, inflammation, and pain management…
Telling Science Stories: Lessons from Last Year’s SciComm Symposium
Many of us here at ScIU have recognized that there is a shortage of classes to teach science communication at IU and in science programs in general. While not every scientist does outreach everyday, we sometimes forget that the simple act of explaining your science to a grant committee or your neighbor who likes to… Read more »