Friday, June 21, 2013

Do you heart a scientist? (#TSRC and #PinheadInstitute)

In yet another sign that being a scientist is presently cool, here in Telluride, CO, you get 10% discounts at several area establishments just for being a scientist. Or more specifically, for being one of the attendees of a TSRC workshop. You might argue that this is actually an indication of the TSRC Director's prowess at marketing. It's true that she's good, and that the TSRC has a significant financial impact on the town. However, the Telluride folk are not wont to support something they don't believe in. So, if they are supporting this program, then it means that they are genuinely supporting science while seeing its value in facing the grand challenges that confront us in, for example, the environment and energy. Now all we need to do is to take the "we heart scientists" program nationwide! 

The motivation for this request is not so much about the money but the fact that it would bring science to kids' attention. It's hard for practicing research scientists to visit every school in the nation, but the Pinhead Scholars in the Schools program is doing its part in that direction. Back in October, I visited 7 classrooms in two days. The kids were kids. They needed to maintain their highly complicated social positions, and yet they opened up to me. They were that excited to learn about the underlying science of their everyday world! In each of those meetings, I spent an hour talking either about hard cooking an egg or about parachuting. Either way, we spoke about how you could rationalize the science of these processes, and how to use it to make predictions. They were evidently ready to heart science. They gave me hope that if we, today's scientists, engage more with them now, they will continue to do so throughout their lives.


  1. Thanks for engaging our rural student population. Go science! Go Pinhead!

    1. Thank you for inviting me to do it! It was a great experience and I clearly remember it fondly to this day.