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Alice Major » Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science

Each will have an opportunity to give a reading. A raffle, featuring items by well-known Fredonia area artists, will be held to raise money to support a student study abroad mission to Honduras. Ted Lee, will conduct medical brigades and do service work at day-long clinics set up in schools or community centers in small rural communities. Guests are invited to come dressed up and ready for trick-or-treating.

Science poetry: Lavinia Greenlaw

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Even though many people claim to not read poetry often, I think the vivid images that are brought to life by poetry are used in the every day. Well, exactly.

Intersecting Sets A Poet Looks at Science

The program on ice served as a good contrast in ways of conveying scientific information. The scientist who was most successful communicating to the public from all these programs was Dr. Eugene Stanley, a physicist from Boston University. He used a series of analogies to convey scientific ideas—he was very poetic and enthusiastic. He describes the bonds of water, hydrogen bonds, like a jungle gym when the bonds get stronger when the temperature goes down , but if you sawed the jungle gym up, it would take up less space and become more dense, as water is more dense as a liquid.


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While Stanley had been invited back on the show from a previous visit, I doubt the author will be invited back. Part of the unexpected discrepancy in ability to convey science to the public might be related to how authors and scientists interact with the public. Authors might be in their element alone with their page; they do not necessarily spend a lot of time interacting with the public and being a good writer does not make you a strong public speaker.

Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science

Even though we might expect scientists to be, on average, comfortable doing isolated tasks like experiments in the lab or field, or writing papers and grants, many of these activities involve a lot of people and explaining the science behind the tasks in understandable terms. Scientists also spend a decent amount of time teaching often and giving talks at scientific meetings as part of our work; as a result we learn to communicate our science to these audiences.

The act of teaching in a lot of ways sets the stage for scientists to effectively communicate with the public, because we must explain often complex functions or ideas to students who for the most part are not familiar with them—not so different than talking to the public.


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Euglena Man is the human personification of a protist with very few apparent super powers, but with a flagella which is, in a word, ominous. The professor dresses up like a Euglena Man to highlight the number of membranes in his Euglenid plasmids, which differ between protists and non-protists as a result of algal cells swallowing bacterial cells that began to be associated with these cells the endosymbiotic hypothesis , leaving in many cases an extra membrane or two. He uses a bit of drama to drive home the point, memorably. Now if only he could only acquire some super powers, he may be able to go public or at least make his debut in a comic book.