I thought our project went super well. The only thing I could have wished from it was maybe slightly clearer instructions an requirements, but the grading was lax and it was known that expectations were unknown, so it really wasn’t a big. I think if it was going to be done again, that our project should be played for the next group, so they at least have some sort of idea what it should look like. After that, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get it all figured out. I think having a day in class was great, and that only one class period really should be enough as long as they’re reminded at the end of a few classes before hand. Another thing I think that could be improved would be length, as I know my clip at least was probably far to long, and honestly shorter bits might be a bit better for certain topics.
I really liked Samir’s talk, and was happy to say I have at least heard about a lot of what he talked about! At least the big picture ideas, can’t say I know the details of the astrophysics. I really love hearing about how physics works, specially astrophysics, without the use of the math parts. It just leads people to come up with the most fun comparisons to real life events to get people to understand. Doing that is a skill for sure, and he did a great job. I feel like astrophysics especially benefits from this, as a lot of times, the actual numbers associated with these sorts of things are just to big for us to understand really. It’s interesting how much of an interest stars still really are to astronomers, just like the ones looking up at the sky centuries ago.
I really liked Douglas’s talk, though I guessed it’d turn to talks about marijuana rather quickly. I just hope we as a group didn’t get him to off what you might have preferred to talk about. I thought it was interesting how much more he liked the French over the English, and just how much better he thought they were. I have to wonder if this had to do with the french governments involvement of french science and the potential drive for better medicine maybe. It’s always interesting to hear about the history of opioids, and how they used to think that not only were they safe, but that they were incredibly safe, and totally unable to cause harm. I’d love to show any of those botanists or doctors the case of our modern day.
Dr. Abler’s talk on louis pasteur was great, and I really liked that we had watched that movie on him before hand. Having that background knowledge is really great, just like with John’s talk and how he had that video series for his. For most of our talks we did have some background, mostly with the book, but I felt that movie really allowed us to talk more about an analysis of Pasteur, over going over who he was, and then getting like ten minutes of analysis at the end. I also really liked her talk of genius, as more than anything, it if anything made me conscious that we do sort of like to view a persons conditions over a sort of born talent, something I totally credit to the growth mindset idea in our education. I feel it’s also a result of us trying to make sure we take circumstances in account, for example, why it seems we all know of mostly male scientists. That’s do to their circumstances, often times unfair to other groups. This probably has us even discount some discoveries and their genius, something I felt Dr. Abler really wanted us to not do, but to recognize that, while they had a favorable situation, that they never would have gotten done what they did without a rather special mind.
After hearing John’s talk, I honestly have been considering reading the books he talk about considering the discovery of oxygen. The best part of his talk I found the most useful not only for most people and our class specifically, was his thought exercises on, without knowledge of science, what would you find an intuitive explanation for the things around you. It really shows how, difficult, the ideas of science really are and how they would probably never be excepted off the logic alone, and why we must really on experiments to show us the nature of reality. Almost convinced me that there had to be foul air in sealed containers, and how I’d probably be all for that explanation without my scientific background. The easiest questions seem to have the most complex answers.
I really liked Caroline’s talk on women in science. While the number of women in science during the period of, well, most of them, is tragically low due to the many efforts of people to prevent them, I was happily surprised and glad to see the women Caroline had found that still did it against all odds. I really liked the break down into the personal lives of these women, and how often they didn’t just break the norm in term of pursuing science. Not only more than their unique personalities, but also all the situations of the time. Learning that people made a living just, scooping up fossils at the beach is something I never would have thought of. Along with all the interesting marriages or other relationships they maintained to be in the position to do their science.
You could really tell in this talk that Dr Anelli really knew a ton of what she was talking about. I got the feeling that she could almost drop the lecture slides, and just have an ongoing conversation about Darwin every time you saw her for a year and keep it going. She gave a lot of interesting answers, and seemed very well used to dispelling common misconceptions about Darwin. It’s a sad thing we never got through all her slides, but it’s sad to realize that Dr Anelli’s knowledge on the subject is just too much even for an hour and a half block of time. I found it very interesting to think about how much Darwin thought he wasted his time in college, and kinda liked hearing about how he’d constantly go off to do things totally not in his course work. Good to see college students never change. It’s also interesting to think that the topics Darwin would become known for were pursued totally on his own, like a hobby, and never formally taught to him! Seeing just how much evidence is being gathered on him was also interesting, and just how much it had grown already.
Dr. Jan Weisenberger’s talk was really well put together and really thought out. The one thing I remember the most strongly was how she tied together one of OSU’s founding member’s inventions, the Mendenhall Gravimeter, with current day research being done right now, by a woman who’s name sadly has been lost to me. It was really cool to hear about how humble the beginnings of OSU was. To think of how informal going to college used to be, specially since people like Thomas Mendenhall didn’t even have a degree, and yet was one of our first professors! I’ve honestly been checking out the 150 discoveries on the site, and think that Jan should be very proud of what she’s put together.