Salon 30: Learning to Write in the Sciences: How Our Communication Practices Shape Future Scientists (1/18/2018)
How did you learn to write in your field? Did you take courses in science writing? Or have you learned by osmosis, so to speak, picking up best practices of writing as you go along? During this session, Megan Callow, a lecturer in science writing at UW, will present some of the research on the essential relationship between our disciplinary backgrounds and our approaches to writing and communication. Megan will then solicit responses from participants about their own histories with science communication, using this feedback as grounds for discussion about how and whether novice scientists should be taught to communicate. Note: at this session participants will be presented with a written survey containing questions about writing in science. If they consent, participants’ anonymous responses may be used for research. Consent is not mandatory for participation!
Salon 31: How We Make a Scientist (2/1/2018)
An ever-increasing percentage of scientific research in academia is performed by trainees – students and postdocs preparing for the next phase of their career. Recent recommendations from NIH have proposed changes to the current training model in the biomedical sciences, and recent policy proposals like the “grad student tax” (taxable tuition waivers) and unionization efforts across academia (including here at the UW) have highlighted the fuzzy line between student, trainee, and employee. We’ll discuss the variation in training models across fields and countries and the role of funding paradigms in establishing and supporting these models. The discussion will focus on attendees’ own experience training in academia and their perspectives on what, exactly, we’re training for anyways.
Praxis Conference (2/9/2018)
The salon organizers presented the achievements and future goals of the salon at the Praxis Conference and learned more about how to lead successful salon discussions.
Salon 32: Movie Night – Inherit the Dar-wind (2/15/2018)
You are cordially invited to Charles Darwin’s birthday bash! On Feb 12, Charles Darwin turns 209. To celebrate his numerous scientific achievements the salon will be throwing a movie night in his honor. We will watch “Inherit the Wind,” the 1960 period drama inspired by the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, where a high school teacher is put on trial for teaching evolution in a public high school. Before the film we will evaluate some of the film’s inaccuracies, historical context, and statements on McCarthyism and intellectual freedom.
Salon 33: The “Science” of Sex Differences (3/1/2018)
Last year’s infamous “Google Memo” brought new attention to an age-old controversy on gender differences and their implications in cognitive abilities and job suitability. Why does belief that men and women are “good” at different mental tasks exist in society? What scientific evidence exists addressing this? During this salon, we will discuss the validity and implications of research into the biology of sex differences. Can this research be handled appropriately in the inescapable context of a biased society?