Children’s angelic voices were accompanied by science experiments on February 28 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas (CCGD) “Earth, Wind & Sky” concert drew inspiration from science themes, including astronomy and biology. CCGD invited SPEaC to perform experiments and answer “Ask a Scientist” questions live onstage during the concert interludes. SPEaC was honored to be in the midst of spectacular artistry, from both the fabulous young singers to the talented CCGD staff that designed, coordinated and conducted the concert.
As scientists we are all too familiar with the response from many non-scientists when we say, “Oh, I am a Molecular Biologist [or insert field of study here].” They are often visibly taken aback, as if recognizing that we are untouchable in some way and they fear they’ve gotten too close. I’ve even seen family members quickly scurry away as they apologetically insist they “don’t understand science” and don’t want to engage in further conversation. The stereotype of scientists isolated in their ivory tower is hard to overcome when there is a fundamental lack of discourse between scientists and the non-scientific public. Continue reading
This fall marks the beginning of the “Ask a Scientist” program, launched by SPEaC with open participation from a number of UT Southwestern trainees. The concept is simple: members of the public submit their questions directly to SPEaC during our outreach events and we answer them via YouTube videos made by members of the UTSW community. Questions have been submitted by children and adults, and they have included any science inquiry they want. All questions are valid; anything goes!
As described in our previous post, SPEaC participated in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) 50-State Challenge where we met with the local offices of Texas congressmen to open a dialog between scientists and Texas policy-makers and promote NIH-funded scientific research. Since our previous post about our meeting with Representative Mark Veasey, SPEaC has been able to meeting with the local offices of three additional Texas congressmen:
Senator Ted Cruz
Senator John Cornyn
Representative Pete Sessions Continue reading
Recently, former U.S. Representative John Edward Porter wrote an editorial for Science magazine decrying the lack of communication between scientists and the general public. He makes it clear that he believes science to be an important driver of the U.S. economy and overall human progress, but he feels that researchers need to reach out to the public more actively to explain the benefits of science. Continue reading