First, a bit of shameless self-promotion: My piece is here. It is about massive viscous fingering, so, if that sounds like a good time to you, go check it out. To learn about it, I spoke with Scott French about his super splashy Science paper, out last September. I had the pleasure of attending his exit talk the other day and was happy to sort of understand some of it! Congrats Scott on being a baller. Be sure to check out the other briefs & labscopes–the challenge of fitting such hugely interesting and complex science into such short spaces was a learning experience for me, and these little morsels are like the popcorn shrimp of science writing–whole lives squeezed into delicious bits you’ll still be digesting days later.
I’m noticing that The BSR is doing some of the most timely, yet in-depth, science reporting around. It’s well worth the wait to watch for its once-a-semester issues. In this issue, we have a feature from Levi Gadye addressing the science and anti-science rhetoric surrounding GMO’s. I’ve been seeing this guy’s Facebook rants and they’re pretty much the only reason I know anything about this, so I can think of no better Dante to take us down into these circles of pseudoscientific hell. I’m going to cozy up with the issue tonight, but I already predict that this will be a good coda for anyone who followed Nathanael Johnson‘s or Michael Eisen‘s reporting on GMO’s. I only did because of Levi’s rants.
The Angry Woman in me is excited to see two pieces addressing the gender gaps in science–a book review asking whether babies matter, and a piece on Berkeley lady scientists with an infographic that made my face fall off in a wash of saltwater tears.
We also have a feature on mental health in grad school–a timely topic for the Berkeley community as we rally to try to address the lack of support grad students have. I recently talked to Georgeann Sack, a co-facilitator for Altered States & the Brain, about a follow-up to this piece she’s writing, and was happy to share some of my coping strategies (for starters, did you know it’s super cathartic to walk up a big damn hill? I didn’t until recently!). Sounds like real headway is being made in opening up this important conversation. In the meantime, Georgeann has a faculty profile in this issue–bio-gadgets, ooooh!
Finally, we also have a feature on data science. Also super timely. I’ll be following up on this with a blog post myself. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding whether data science is going to solve all our problems or whether it’s a bubble, just waiting to be unmasked as yet another hyped tool that in the end isn’t so magical after all. I hope to address how we can make it useful for us, and how undergrad courses at Berkeley are starting to step up and mold the data scientists of the future. So, watch for that soon!