Greetings ScienceBlogs readers. In this post: The large versions of the photos on the Education & Careers and Politics channels, and a recap of the channel quotes.
Education & Careers
Education & Careers channel photo. An enthusiastic submarine driver pops his head out of the hatch to smile for the camera. From Flickr, by jurvetson
Often in the scientific world, work and play intermingle. In this case, it appears to be especially so. Putting in the time to learn a specialty science can be incredibly rewarding.
This week’s reader reaction quote on the Education & Careers channel comes from a discussion on Adventures in Ethics about the challenges of dialogue about animal research.
ScienceBlogger Janet wrote:
There are complicating factors in discussions around the use of animals in research. One is that the current climate in the U.S., where being known as someone who participates in such research can make you a target for harassment and violence, isn’t one that invites impromptu rap sessions between animal researchers and those with concerns about such research; it’s hard to tell violent activists just by looking at them.
For the researcher dealing with the lay person, there’s less of a clear duty to educate (and to not lose your patience). However, I’d like to think there’s a certain regard we owe each other as human beings trying to get along in a society together. Given that many researchers are drawing at least part of their funding from public sources, trying to foster respectful engagement with lay persons just seems sensible. Also, the regulatory landscape in which scientists work (including the Animal Welfare Act) is shaped by the concerns of the larger society.
In other words, even if each scientist who does research with animals cannot expend the time to deal with each young, smart, anguished person looking for dialogue, the community of researchers ought to have meaningful ways to engage with concerned members of the public.
Reader Janne responded:
“Don’t conflate “researcher” with “teacher.” Some teachers are researchers, and a fair number of researchers are also teachers. But lots of people are only teachers or only researchers. They are different jobs, and not everybody does both – not everybody is suitable for both.“
Politics channel photo. A screen shot of coverage from the election indicating Barack Obama as the presumptive nominee. From Flickr, by Tony the Misfit
A moment in history that unified Americans and allowed “Generation O” to experience a sense of optimism they may have never before associated with the US government.
The comment that seemed to sum up all the joy and optimism of victorious Obama supporters, came from a post on ERV’s ScienceBlog, in which readers were prompted with, “Okay, show of hands– ERV presented a video of the famous “Obamaercial” and asked readers, “Who cried watching the Obamaercial?”
A response from reader CyberLizard:
“Seriously, I didn’t cry, but I am still amazed that someone as cynical and snarky as I am can still be moved by hearing this man speak. I actually think that he truly believes what he’s saying. And it makes all the difference.“
Obama’s victory in the 2008 election opened a new chapter in American history. Hopefully Americans will seize the opportunity of new political leadership to repair the wounds that have been tearing this country apart for the past eight years and unite Americans once again so that our powers of strength and innovation may be valued throughout the world once again.
That’s all for this update, devoted readers. I am getting the hang of this more with every passing day.
Also, if there is something you would like to hear about from the editorial staff of ScienceBlogs, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you would like to read about.