Skip to main content

No results found

Stone Circle banner
Knowledge, Science, Academia

The Big Bang: September

Science From Home

divider
Renée Watson
“At the root of it, science is about understanding ourselves, our world and beyond.”
shutterstock 503245555

Are the words quantum physics your Kryptonite? Science is full of words that induce grimaces, boredom and even terror in people. Scientists themselves will often bask in joy in one subject and cringe in a corner in another. So let’s get rid of the words and get down to basics. At the root of it, science is about understanding ourselves, our world and beyond. This is not about subjects and complicated names. This is about thinking. And I am here to make the bold claim that all people think science.

For the past 15 years I have been building bridges between qualified scientists and all kinds of regular people who wouldn’t call themselves scientists. But I have observed that those regular people - who might be 6 or 60 years old and who have never stepped foot in a lab - are science thinkers. Sometimes the best questions, the ones that really make us think, come from someone with no degree, who says they hate science. You might call it curiosity or even creativity but those ways of thinking are the seeds of science.

You might apply your science thought to fixing the washing machine, putting together a nice meal or trying to figure out the best way to get the frost off your car. All these sorts of activities are using the same way of thinking as a scientist who is developing a new cancer treatment. A recent study published in a top journal – ‘Nature’ – suggested that students who nurture their curiosity do better in a research career. There is also evidence that curiosity makes you feel good and less helpless.

There are lots of opportunities for non-scientists to give their science brain a workout. I am not talking about boring lectures, the same ones that turned you off science in the first place. I am talking about getting in and having a go. You could try a citizen science project, where you can do practical things that actually contribute to real research. BashTheBug is one of my personal favourites – who wouldn’t want to help find new antibiotics!? You can have a bash at the University of Oxford Zooniverse website (zooniverse.org) which hosts loads of fun citizen science projects. Who knows, you could even end up with a star or new species named after you!

During lockdown a lot of the usual hands-on science events have unfortunately been cancelled, but there are some seriously cool virtual offerings for the whole family. If you are on Twitter then checking out #GlobalScienceShow and #ScienceFromHome will give you binge-worthy videos of at home science experiments. IF Oxford (if-oxford.com) is taking to the screens for a groundbreaking, pandemic-friendly interactive celebration of science. And of course, for sciency stories, experiment ideas and loads more curious fun, I am adding content constantly to curiosity-box.com

RECOMMENDED

The.World.Beneath Richard.Smith 001
Thu 8 Oct 2020

The Change Underwater

Creatures, Coral and Conservation

‘The World Beneath: The Life and Times of Unknown Sea Creatures and Coral Reefs’ is an informative title introducing us to the creatures of the sea – some of which are facing extinction – and the ways in which we can help. We speak to the author, Richard Smith, to find out more

shutterstock 591931739
Fri 2 Oct 2020

Following our Science edition, Zayna Ratty tells us all about the human brain...

Untitled jvezaf
Thu 1 Oct 2020

  Months of planning for a month of activities. We hope you enjoy the hundreds of free events that bring you a spark of the arts and technology. The Festival begins today but

Bio Pic Yellow
Thu 1 Oct 2020

"Excuse Me Sir, Are You Lost?"

Marvin Thompson Speaks on Structural Racism, Schooling and Statues

Following its release in March, we spoke to teacher and poet, Marvin Thompson about his first poetry collection, Road Trip, an intense interrogation of culture and heritage.