Ariel Norling here. I write about education, technology, and my adventures in entrepreneurship- i.e. everything that I've learned outside of a classroom's walls. I am often sarcastic, sometimes serious, but always infinitely curious.
Syracuse University researchers use nanotechnology to harness the power of fireflies
Three of my favorite things: Syracuse, fireflies, and science.
Discovered in my first alumni newsletter (yikes!). At least my first thought wasn’t “So this is another random project that is paid for by my tuition” for the first time in years. Because installing solar panels on the less fortunate’s homes really should have been a priority for the university.
I just found this amazing program made by Google which is basically an interactive body for you to study the human anatomy with. I wish we had programs like this when I took human anatomy in high school instead of just random bones and plastic organs. Check it out…but it doesn’t work with Internet Explorer!
The more I re-read this study, I keep coming back to two thoughts (all generalized, of course):
1) The idea of there being “feminine fields” that are non-science seems a bit sexist to me, although I am not a female and not uniquely qualified to judge such things.
2) Despite the undertones I am picking up on from the study, there does seem to be something underlying women’s reactions to science. Some sort of cognitive dissonance is setting in. Somewhere in the subconscious, their imagery (even though it may not be true imagery) of what it means to be a female scientist doesn’t match up with what they think/want/feel … on some level, anyway.
The findings come from a series of studies, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, that were undertaken to determine why women, who have made tremendous progress in education and the workplace over the past few decades, continue to be underrepresented at the highest levels of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Lead author Lora Park, associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, and her co-authors found converging support for the idea that when romantic goals are activated, either by environmental cues or personal choice, women—but not men—show less interest in STEM and more interest in feminine fields, such as the arts, languages and English. The research is described in the article to be published in the September issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
“When the goal to be romantically desirable is activated, even by subtle situational cues, women report less interest in math and science,” says Park. “One reason why this might be is that pursuing intelligence goals in masculine fields, such as STEM, conflicts with pursuing romantic goals associated with traditional romantic scripts and gender norms.”
More subtle social pressures having huge effects on women’s role in STEM fields. Of course, if more of the romance of science were apparent, if the drama of the journey to discovery were made more clear, perhaps this could be different?
I mean, science (and scientists) is/are sexy, in their own way. Some people hate the use of sexy in this way, but how else do you describe the primal excitement of discovery and learning, the rush of satisfaction? And the lab coats … so hot, amiright?
The above study is evidence of past failures in the imagery of science put forth, but not an unassailable problem. We can put our hearts in this along with our minds.
The idea that there are “non-feminine fields” is sexist. The idea that there are “feminine fields” is sexist. I take just as much offense to the lack of women in STEM fields as I do the over-representation of women in teaching, secretarial jobs, and nursing. Both are sexist and add false substance to the cliche that those who can’t, teach. It also perpetuates the cultural value of vanity over substance. More people should become sapiosexual. Fortunately, there seems to be a link between physical attractiveness and intelligence.
I’m not sure how well this curriculum is going to go over since, “One of the big goals, the committee said in a 282-page report, is ‘to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science.’”
I’m pretty sure that’s what this guy did:
It’s just refraction and reflection causing the light spectrum to become visible. No need for tears.