Quickies: Can you process an insurrection and still make time for science?

Welcome to another rushed Friday Quickies! Two virtual conferences at the same time seemed like such a great idea to past-Nicole… present-Nicole is TIRED.

I’m still processing last week’s insurrection at the Capitol even as I fear future attacks. One way to do so is to learn about insurrections that we’ve had before in the U.S. at Sam Sanders’s NPR Podcast “It’s Been a Minute.” His guest, Jamelle Bouie, also discusses these in an a NYTimes op-ed.

So how do we fix this disinformation crisis and the fact that people can’t agree on basic facts? Well, it’s complicated. Disinformation cannot simply be countered with good information, as humans tend to develop an emotional bond with information. Yes, even you there, saying, “but I’m completely objective.” You’re not.

You know what else is complicated? Gender roles… specifically the study of gender roles throughout human history. Turns out, the simple story of “men are hunters, women are gatherers” doesn’t hold up under scientific scrutiny.

As people become more aware of how our cultural biases have reflected in the history of western science, some are now asking how we can meaningfully engage in scientific collaboration with Indigenous communities. Four Indigenous and Native American researchers tell us how to go about this… and how NOT to. related

Good news this week and from the conferences I’m attending… plans are underway to rebuild and reimagine the Arecibo Observatory after the collapse of the dish in December.

Some fun things that I’ve come across at conferences this week involve the sonification of different scientific subjects. First, you can play a “harp” on the spectral lines of atoms at Atom Song, shared by Geraldine Cox. (Use your left-right arrows to toggle between elements.) Then, check out the lovely sound versions of images from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Finally, in the spirit of “cute animal Friday,” we have this amazing fake journal article that was accepted by a predatory journal on fishy birds, birdy fish, poisonous fungi, and pizza. Here is the blog about the paper, with a hat tip to fellow author Bjornar for sharing!

Keep in touch with us via the Skepchick Discord or reach us through our Contact Form.


Nicole is a professor, astronomer, educator, geek, dog mom, occasional fitness nerd, and maker of tiny comets. She is also very loud under the right circumstances. Like what you read? Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/noisyastronomer

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button