Monday, March 18, 2013

To Do Science Is Human

25 Days to #cambscifest 2013!  Today's featured event by Arend Sluis of the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library!

To Do Science is Human 
By Arend Sluis, Friends of the Cambridge Public Library

It's easy to forget that science is fundamentally a human activity. It's part of who we are to explore and discover, but journal articles, as a rule, often leave out the human experience of being a scientist. An article will, for example, not mention the freezing temperatures on the mountaintop while observing a galaxy 30 million light-years away nor the realization half-way through the night that it was the wrong galaxy! A reader will get just the facts (mostly). But there's so much more to the act of science: the tedium, the frustrations, and the sheer joy of doing science.

Carefully scrubbing away the human element often divides the "arts and humanities" from "science", but in recent decades there have been plenty of attempts to jump the divide from both sides: T-shirts with nerdy facts, riffs on (misunderstood) concepts, and even a journal abstract in rhymed couplets.

If you want to do some divide-jumping yourself, come to one of our two events at the Cambridge Science Festival: Science & Poetry on Tuesday April 16th, or Science & Comics on Saturday April 20th, all at the Cambridge Public Library.

Sapphire from Crystallography by Christian Bök

Our host for the Science & Poetry event is Nick Montfort, poet, co-author of "10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10", and associate professor of digital media at MIT. He will lead a discussion about the intersections and common grounds of poetry and science.

Sandwalk Adventures by Jay Hosler

For the Science & Comics event we have a great line-up: biology professor and comic-book author Jay Hosler, author of "Clan Apis" and "Sandwalk Adventures", local artist E.J. Barnes, author of "Caroline's Catalog", and Rosemary Mosco, field naturalist and cartoonist. Join us for a fun and interactive exploration of how comics and science work together.

Hope to see you at the Library!

Arend Sluis
President, Friends of the Cambridge Public Library

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