How Our Early Life Upbringing Can Be the Root of Our Anxiety

July 31, 2020

Is your mother to blame for your constant anxiety? For decades, Sigmund Freud made it popular belief that all mental health problems were products of how your parents raised you. Although this idea fizzled out by the 1980’s, it still influences the way many clinicians treat their patients. However, your mother is not necessarily to blame for your anxiety, especially in a society where socioeconomic challenges can have a huge impact on parenting.

The War on Science - Chapters 5 & 6 Summary

July 29, 2020

In Chapter 6, Otto continues his examination of the evolution of public thought and scientific ideas through the space age and into the 21st century. During this time, he argues, the public’s skepticism of science was due to its focus on research with primarily military and industrial applications. During the countercultural movement of the 1960s, young people were critical and suspicious of the government, and therefore government-funded science.

The War on Science Part 2 - Chapters 3, 4 & 5 Summary

July 08, 2020

Otto begins Part 2 by describing the founding of the United States, specifically that the US was founded not as a Christian nation, but rather one based on the ideals of freedom — including freedom of exploration and religion. The founders of the US, as well as European and other scholars, believed that science was to be used to assist in the study of God’s creations and that its purpose was to shed light on the wonders of the world created by God. They felt that Nature, unlike divinity, was knowable and understandable and humans could understand God’s will by studying nature.

The War on Science Part 1 - Chapters 1 & 2 Summary 

June 17, 2020

The first part of Otto’s book truly digs deep into the questions “Why is there a war on Science?” and “Who is Waging It?” Otto begins this section, titled Democracy’s Science Problem, with an explanation of the role of science in our social and political worlds. Science has the power to do great good, but it can also be weaponized against persons and countries.

Storytelling Tips from Don't Be Such A Scientist

June 17, 2020
Storytelling is vital to successful science communication. However, our inner scientist can often get in the way of telling a good science story. I read Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson to learn more about what I can do to improve my storytelling.

Udderly Complex: Sustainability of Cow and Plant-Based Milks

May 18, 2020

“An almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess” was Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s response during a debate over whether alternative “milks” can really call themselves milks, a conversation spurred by their recent rise in popularity. These “milks,” also known as plant-based milks, are non-dairy beverages made from a water-based extract of crops like soy, oat, rice, and almonds.

Considerations in Animal Research: Genetic Backgrounds Matter, Even 1%

May 13, 2020

Graduate student Nycole Copping works as a researcher in Dr. Jill Lynn Silverman’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute, a center dedicated to developing treatments for and spreading awareness of neurodevelopmental disorders. Neurodevelopmental disorder research often involves investigating behaviours of inbred mouse models for disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Angelman syndrome (AS). 

Science Says Presents: Posters in the Park

March 30, 2020

We have all been to a science conference where half of the talks or posters are too complex for most of the conference-goers. We have also tried to explain our work to somebody outside of our labs – a member of our cohort, a faculty member, a roommate, a family member – and failed to explain it clearly. For those of us in science outreach, communicating difficult research can get ten times harder when we go to community events and talk to non-science members of the public. Why is communicating our daily work so difficult for most of us?