Malaria and world public health: Jennifer in science and song

Okay people, these students in Miss Stacy Baker's biology classes and Extreme Biology blog have been rocking my world for quite some time. They've now burst onto the national media and were all the buzz of the recent ScienceOnline'09 conference.

For those not familiar with the story, Stacy Baker is a biology teacher at the Calverton School in Huntingtown, Maryland, who began a website for student activities and class notes back in 2006. With the boundless enthusiasm of ninth-graders and more seasoned AP biology students, the site has become interactive: a blog, Extreme Biology, with videos, interviews, content-rich science posts - well, just go read this article by our friend, Elie Dolgin, at The Scientist.

Then, yesterday, I find Jennifer, a brilliant piano-playing biology student with an absolutely beautiful singing voice - an original composition about malaria and the costs of prevention, an essay on malaria in Africa, a link to a UNicef videoinformation site, and citation of original research from Monash University researchers on the PfA-M1 enzyme as a drug target.

I don't want to just link directly to YouTube so go either to Jennifer's original post with the video, lyrics and essay or the push-play post with just the video and lyrics.

Somewhere around these parts we've been talking about the association of scientific and artistic creativity. acmegirl, an accomplished dancer and graduate student, most recently pointed this out in profiling the work of fellow dancer and songbird behavioral neurobiologist, Dr Erich Jarvis. (I'll have another post relating to these two scientists later.).

Even your humble Pharmboy has been known to dabble in artistic endeavours outside the lab bench from time-to-time and I think there have been scholarly treatises on the relationship between artistic and scientific creativity.

I want to encourage our dear Jennifer in cultivating both her musical and scientific interests so do folks out there know of specific papers, books, or other information sources that describe how one's science can benefit from being creative in other "non-scientific" pursuits?

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