Category: Education

Science Communication: A Duty of the Next-Generation Scientist

Author: Jessica Y. Chen (@BluntDrJChen)

Editors: Charles Lu, Ellyn Schinke, and Shweta Ramdas

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

It’s frustrating, as a scientist, to watch from afar as the claims of anti-vaxxers are given credence in many parts of the country, despite ample evidence suggesting that they’re not correct.

Why and how can so many people be misled?

So You Want to be a Scientist

Author: Kristina Lenn

Editors: Alex Taylor, Zena Lapp, and Scott Barolo

People say that “love” is probably the most abused word in the English language. I disagree. I think the word that is most misused is “genius.”

I taught engineering at Wayne State University for three years, and the class I taught that was most frustrating for the students was programming. Many of my students would come to me and say how discouraged they were; how they seemed to be behind everyone else; and how they thought they should already know how to do everything. My response was, “If you already knew how to do it, why would you need the class? It’s required for a reason.” In fact, many of them would look at me and say, “You hardly even think about the answer. You just start typing the code and it magically works.” I had to remind them that I’d been teaching for years and programming for almost a decade.

Homework: a Necessity or an Age-Old Brain Drain?

Author: Amira Aker

Editors: Shweta Ramdas, Zena Lapp, and David Mertz


Everyone hates homework. It’s boring, annoying, and takes you away from a million other things you’d rather be doing. But I always thought it was a necessary part of learning. How else could you learn without effort and a little struggle? As a Ph.D. student (so, somewhat academically inclined) and a mother of two, I was distraught by the growing phenomenon of schools banning homework. But the logical part of me thinks that there must be more to this than just pandering to student laziness and teacher burnout.