DN: Hey, my name is Dave Ng.

BRC: I'm Benjamin Cohen. Dave, what's your story? You're Canadian right? So that's this whole other thing, I take it.

DN: Yes, I am Canadian, living in Vancouver actually and based at the University of British Columbia. I was born in England though, which you can sometimes hear when I talk (especially when I say the words water and four). I guess that makes me a chimera of sorts, which kind of works because I'm essentially a Faculty member who knows a thing or two about molecular genetics. You're at the University of Virginia right? Do folks call you Benjamin or Ben?

BRC: In fact they call me Ben, but they always write Benjamin. So I don't know what we would do in the blog world. And it's true, I'm at UVA. I'm calling myself an STS Environmental Historian. Have one of those Science and Technology Studies PhDs, and I'm a professor at UVA in the Science, Technology, and Society Department. Slight change in naming convention, but STS either way. My primary interest is environmental studies -- history, literature, philosophy, ethics, etc. I'll leave it there for the moment, knowing full well that such an explanation explains little. But not in the way that saying "molecular genetics" explains little. People might not know how to do it, but they know basically at least what molecular genetics *is*. The caliper measurement of genes in moles. But defining STS and also saying how to do it? We'll let that linger for a bit.

DN: You know, it's interesting, but I actually find that most folk think they know what molecular genetics is, or at the very least have a pretty ardent opinion about it. It's not like talking about dinosaurs or the latest iPod. It's kind of why science education is another one of my current hats.

BRC: ...

DN: Of course. Never really got the hat thing myself. I gather that's a historical connotation... I look terrible in hats.

(to be continued)

More like this

Thank you kindly. We're a little slow going around here, but should be game on come monday-tuesday.

People might not know how to do it, but they know basically at least what molecular genetics *is*. The caliper measurement of genes in moles.

Can we make a shirt out that? Do you mind if I plagiarize from you? You know, make that part of my profile, or something.

Hi David and Ben! Thank you for letting me know about what you're doing over in these parts -- everything looks so cool!

An old friend of mine had an Uncle Haeckel. Her mother was named Darwina. I have no idea what her grandfather did, but it was something pretty sciency.

Uncle Haeckel took a bullet in the head when he was a lad as he and his friends were attempting to create one of those cool cowboy hats - the ones with bullet holes in them. Sadly, Uncle H. failed to remove his hat at the time his hole was created.

So poor Uncle Haeckel. Sounds like a bit of a misnomer there.

As always Melissa, glad to have you around to check things out. Do you mean something like this?

Hah! Well, I wasn't there at the time, but I bet it was something just like that, yes! Nice find, Dave!

You know, there's lots of pictures with bullet holes in them.
Hey Ben, is this the kind of interdisciplineary discussion you were thinking of? I'm gonna need to look into the science of bullet holes now...

i may be lost, but i'm also sleepy.

this is something about a hole in the head, right? we can break that down. i'll talk to my people.