Category → Chem Ed
If you’re up on this lovely Saturday morning and looking for something fun and educational to pass the time, dial up wknc.org for the “Mystery Roach” radio show from 8 am until 10 am Eastern time.
There, I’ll be discussing the discovery of drugs from nature and the differences between herbal remedies and medicines.
The show, hosted by forestry and natural resources doctoral student Damian Maddalena, will be interspersed with psychedelic music from the 60s and 70s.
Maddalena is an experienced scientist-communicator whose show, named after a Frank Zappa song, celebrated five years last November. The Research Triangle’s independent weekly, INDY Week, recognized Maddalena last year as runner-up for both top radio show and radio host, a tremendous accomplishment for a science and music show in a highly-competitive media market.
Livestream at this wknc.org page
So, this was the dilemma I encountered this week at the day job.
In my position at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, we give public “Meet the Scientist” talks twice daily in our iconic multimedia space called the SECU Daily Planet in the new Nature Research Center wing of the Museum. The Daily Planet Theater seats about 50 folks on the main floor but is open on part of the 2nd and 3rd floors for visitors to peer into events there.
[See addendum at end of post]
Say it ain’t so!
Ever wonder why the public has an irrational fear of anything labeled, “chemical”?
Well. . .
The book section of Guardian Science has been running a contest since 19th November to win six books shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2012.
The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
The Information by James Gleick
My Beautiful Genome by Lone Frank
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene
The Viral Storm by Nathan Wolfe
Lofty books, though I must admit to not having gotten to any yet (I’m currently stuck on Sid Mukherjee’s Pulitzer prize-winning tome, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer).
To enter the contest, one need only answer four “science” questions (and, sadly, be a UK resident.).
Let’s take a lookie-see at one of those questions:
Rob Nelson is an independent science education filmmaker now living in Charlotte, NC, with his equally talented wife, Haley, and their son. Together with his partner in Sweden, Jonas Stenstrom, Rob runs a company called Untamed Science.
In the video posted here, he addresses the biology and chemistry (!) of leaves changing color in the fall together with my boss, Meg “Canopy Meg” Lowman, Director of the Museum’s Nature Research Center. It’s a catchy introduction to the chemistry behind color change. Enjoy!
I need your help at the day job to show off chemistry to the masses.
Since joining our state museum in January, I’ve been a bit disappointed in general at how the world of chemistry is underpromoted across natural science museums. Even with all the hubbub over the Mars Curiosity rover and research lab, few folks know that the rover hosts a remarkable diversity of analytical chemistry instrumentation.
Saturday, October 13th is Chemistry Day at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, just before National Chemistry Week. My colleagues tell me that it is one of the smaller of our “Days” and “Fests.” Well, I want to change that and, yes, I’m using this blog as a bully pulpit to do so. (I hope that’s okay, my benevolent overlords.)
Well, here’s a position for you in Colorado Springs. From The Chronicle of Higher Education:
OPEN TENURE-TRACK POSITIONS
Colorado College, a highly selective liberal arts college with an enrollment of approximately 1900 students, seeks to fill five tenure-track positions for Fall 2013 in:
South Asian History I
Information about Colorado College is available at http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu.
Interested applicants should refer to the full job descriptions for each position found on the Faculty Positions page under Employment Opportunities, as they become available. Check the website for job closing date. Ph.D. must be complete or very nearly complete before starting date. Colorado College is distinctive for its modular “Block Plan” calendar. The academic year is divided into eight 3 week blocks. During each block, students take and faculty teach one course at a time, with a maximum enrollment of 25 students per class. Faculty teach six blocks per year.
The college’s unique academic calendar supports experiential learning opportunities such as field trips and service learning and lends itself to other innovative teaching and learning strategies. The college is committed to increasing the diversity of the college community. Candidates who can contribute to that goal are particularly encouraged to apply and to identify the ways in which they would bring diversity to our community.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Colorado College welcomes members of all groups and reaffirms its commitment not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin or disability in its educational programs, activities, and employment practices.
I love Colorado Springs and have had the honor of guest lecturing at CC. Several of my colleagues have sent their kids to CC and they have done splendidly. It’s a tremendous learning environment.
RALEIGH, NC – Although it’s personal day job news, I’m certain this announcement will be of interest to C&EN readers in the Research Triangle area and others in the science communications community.
The SECU Daily Planet is the iconic centerpiece of the new 80,000 square foot wing of North Carolina’s flagship natural science museum.
The NRC addition will open to the public with a 24-hour program of Grand Opening events beginning at 5 pm on Friday, April 20.
The Grand Opening will be preceded by a formal Gala and After Party on the evening of Friday, April 13. Tickets for the Gala and After Party are on sale here but admission to the April 20th public grand opening – and every day afterward – is free.
Building upon a 130-year history of showing visitors what we know about the natural world, the Museum’s NRC will engage visitors in-person and online to experience the scientific process in action: how we know what we know.
And what exactly is the Daily Planet?
Well, I’m coming up on 10 days on my new job at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences working on science communications for our new wing, the Nature Research Center. Beyond my creative and uniformly brilliant co-workers, I’m blown away by how many remarkable people I’ve met from around the state and world by just being at the Museum.
Among those were the filmmakers from the visual science education operation, Untamed Science. Co-founders Rob Nelson and Jonas Stenstrom. I learned that I was very fortunate to get an audience with Jonas as he was visiting from Sweden where he coordinates the team’s international science education efforts. He first met Rob, a native Texan & Coloradan, while both were studying in Australia. Joining them was their local documentarian partner, the talented Michelle Lotker.
Untamed Science describe themselves as “a group of scientists and filmmakers that have united with one simple goal – communicate science in a fun way to the next generation.” Their portfolio of free video and text content covers the spectrum of biology, physics, chemistry, earth science and technology.
Their target audience began as middle-school students but many of the details are those that parents (yes, me) might not know. I had a fabulous time sitting with our nine-year-old daughter last night to go through about a dozen of their videos and podcasts. Bedtime was delayed significantly – thanks, folks.
Today, we bring you a fun, educational guest post from our friend and colleague, DrRubidium, a chemist researching and teaching on the Pacific Northwest. You can follow her on Twitter at @DrRubidium – DJK.
This summer, I began experimenting with jams and jellies, whipping up sweet and savory spreads in my kitchen laboratory. Blackberry, strawberry, grape, pineapple, tomato herb… rose?
After tasting rose jelly at a local farmer’s market, I decided make it at home.
The selected rose jelly recipe was easy:
- Steep hand-washed rose petals in water
- Filter out and discard solids, retain liquid (rose extract)
- Add sugar to rose extract
- Reach rolling boil
- Add pectin (read about the science of pectin here)
- Return to rolling boil
- Bottle and seal jars.
This recipe doesn’t just yield jelly, it also provides a great example of acid-base chemistry.