- Wake up early
- This photo was taken at 6:00 am near Covent Garden. I woke up around 5 am and decided to go for a walk instead of going back to sleep. I found probably the only store open that early and the man working there told me his life story because neither of us had anything better to do. That conversation most likely would not have happened at another time of day because he would have other customers to attend to. I also went to an antiques flea market and talked to some of the people there. It was a unique experience to walk around and watch the city wake up. Although this may not directly relate to the class, we learned that some great things (like the discovery of penicillin) happen by chance. This experience also happened by chance for me. I woke up early without planning it and wandered around without a real idea of what I wanted to do.
2. “Take the boat” -JoCo
2. This photo was taken from the boat on the Thames. JoCo, Kelly, and I took the boat from the London eye to the Greenwich Observatory. Kelly wanted to go to the Observatory to complete her project and I tagged along because it sounded like fun. The boat provided a great view of the city and JoCo provided interesting facts about beheading.
3. Always try asking
3. This photo was taken outside Buckingham Palace after this officer graciously let me pose in his hat. I said in the beginning of the semester that I would try anything once and along with that, I will also ask anything once. I’ve discovered if you are polite and understanding, the worse case is people will say no. In this case, the officer was amused and gladly handed over his hat. “Always try asking” is a relatively new policy for me. It has taken me on some adventures, but it also helps in an academic setting. Whether it’s asking for extra help, asking for a deadline extension, or asking for a recommendation letter, having the courage to try is important. The worse case is a professor says no, but you will never get anything unless you ask.
There are several things that I learned while doing this project. The audio for my project was not as clean or clear as I would have liked it to be. This is in part due to the fact that it was a phone conversation and in part because I recorded it on my laptop. For this next project, I will record everything on my cell phone and then use my laptop for editing once I return. The editing for this project took considerably more time than I expected. I think this is mostly due to my limited experience in editing audio clips and the lack of applications I had available. Now that I have downloaded more applications for editing and know how to use them, I expect the next project to go more smoothly. For this project it is important to have a plan. This plan must include both the individual and what you want to focus on about them. For the OSU project, I selected my individual, but attempted to get all of the information about them in one project. This resulted in a long interview and a lot of information getting cut. For the next project, I still plan to have excess footage, but to focus my project on one theme to make the video more cohesive and to improve the flow. I also learned from my classmates throughout this experience. Not only did I get the opportunity to learn about different innovators at OSU, I also got ideas for how I want to organize the next project. I still plan to incorporate interviews in this project, but I like how Kelly cut her interview and put her questions in afterward. Vivek recommended recording myself paraphrasing the interviews in order to cut down those that are too long or difficult to understand. After listening to other the other projects, I also want to incorporate more background information in the beginning, instead of jumping right into the interview. I still have a little more planning to do before we leave, but after receiving feedback and listening to other projects, I feel more confident about the next project.
Since I was unable to attend the lecture, I read “What is a Black Hole”. I have zero background information on black holes, so this reading was very interesting. The first description of black holes using Newton’s law made sense and was easy to follow. The second description using Einstein’s theories was slightly more difficult to comprehend. In order to even begin to understand the third or fourth descriptions, I had to read them multiple times and look at the quiz. I still could not not explain them, but I could explain the issues with Hawking’s description and how the fuzzball theory remedied that problem. As I looked at the images that accompanied each description, I noticed that Einstein’s image looked familiar. I found it interesting that in popular media (movies/tv shows), Einstein’s theory of the black hole is used as a depiction, despite being disproved. I wonder if this is because it looks cool and is easier for the general public to understand (compared to the current fuzzball theory) or if there is simply a lack of knowledge in those who create science fiction works.
I think medicinal plants often have a negative reputation. The general public commonly associates medicinal plants with marijuana, cocaine, or opium. As Dr. Kinghorn pointed out there are many other types of plants that are used all over the world in traditional medicine. However, one thing I found interesting was that components from the same plant that creates cocaine, is currently approved by the FDA as a local anesthesia. Another fact that I was previously unaware of, was that the FDA is hesitant about certain medicines if they create an euphoric effect. I was also unaware of the high turn-over at the FDA, that was leading to policies regarding CBD, not being enforced. Throughout Dr. Kinghorn’s presentation, I noticed that there is a large gap between the general public and the scientific community where medicinal plants are concerned. I think this lack of communication and difference in knowledge, reinforces misconceptions that the general public may have. It also allows companies to take advantage of this lack of information to sell more products.
The first time that I learned about Louis Pasteur was in relation to germ theory and pasteurization. I was unaware that he created a vaccine for anthrax and rabies until I watched the movie and we discussed him in this class. I think the lack of common knowledge about Pasteur’s accomplishments was emphasized by Dr. Alber when she had us name his biggest accomplishment before her presentation. During her presentation Dr. Alber emphasized the many other contributions Pasteur made, including discovering chiral compounds, lactic acid fermentation, and disproving spontaneous generation. I found it very interesting to learn of Pasteur’s rivalry with Robert Konch. It illustrated how science is affected by society and political forces.
This course is the first time I have learned about how oxygen or really any element was discovered. I found the story of oxygen to be particularly interesting. Obviously we do not learn about phlogiston in science courses today, because it was determined not to exist. However, I think that story is very important. It’s easy to look back and say that scientists were wrong about phlogiston for so long because they didn’t have the resources, knowledge base, and communication abilities that we have today. But, I think it serves as an important lesson that science is not always perfect and that is why we continue to test and improve different theories. It was also interesting to see the two very different approaches to researching oxygen. Antoine Lavoisier was very meticulous with his measurements. He would observe a process, create a hypothesis, test his idea, and take detailed notes and measurements along the way. Joseph Priestly on the other hand, did more qualitative, than quantitative work. This included seeing how long a mouse could survive in fixed air compared to oxygen and inhaling the mysterious air (oxygen) himself. I also liked our discussion about how we define scientific revolutions and those involved in them. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives on declaring scientists to be geniuses. Today, hard work is valued more than raw intellect and often genius has a negative connotation. The term often conjures images of isolated individuals with no social skills. I enjoyed hearing different points of view on the subject and getting the opportunity to examine my own perspective.
I think it is very important to acknowledge women’s accomplishments throughout history. I found it interesting to see that most of the women that were mentioned had connections to wealthy men. It showed that if a woman wanted to have an education or participate in science, she had to be from a high class background. One exception to this was Mary Anning. She had no connections and was often in poverty. This made it even easier for men to claim her discoveries as their own. In class, we talked about some potential reasons that women are left out of history. These include lack of access and the fact that women were written out of history. Many had their ideas accredited to men and had no power to correct this. Some of the women presented very fairly famous, but others I had never heard of before. I enjoyed learning more about each female scientist and hope we continue to explore this in class.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Gnidovek’s presentation. I agreed when he said that every kid went through a dinosaur phase and I always enjoy getting to see/hold fossils. It was interesting to learn about major historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Carnegie who played roles in the discovery and excavation of specific fossils. It was also neat to see that fossils found in Ohio are now in museums all over the world.
I found the talk on Tuesday to be very informative. When I had previously learned about Darwin, only his trip to the Galapagos, natural selection, and his theory of evolution were discussed. I found it very interesting to learn more about his background, the scientists that influenced him, and his ties to geology. I also liked looking at the social influences such as the Church that made it difficult for Darwin to publish his work and for that work to be accepted. In my opinion the movie Creation falls more into the category of a Gothic horror movie. While the movie did portray his grief, I think some scenes were over the top, including the scene of the storm coming through his office, complete with glowing and moving specimen jars. I think the movie portrayed him more as delusional than grieving. The movie focused on Darwin as a man, while Darwin as a scientist was shown in more subtle ways. The movie did not portray all the evidence that Darwin collected for his book. However, it did show some of his work with pigeons and he even interacted with his children while teaching them about science.
I found Dr. Weisenberger’s presentation to be very informative. I enjoyed seeing the variety of innovations at OSU. A lot of time, when you think of scientific discoveries, you think of hard sciences such as biology or chemistry. It was interesting to see innovations such as the ice cream cone or the study of William Shakespeare’s works. I also appreciated learning more about the Carmen Collection. The stories featured there are the ones that are commonly forgotten and I was glad that OSU was making an effort to preserve them. I also got the opportunity to talk to Dr. Weisenberger after her presentation. She is very approachable, knowledgeable, and willing to help. Overall, I think the presentation was a great addition to the class.