The Science Cheerleader (Darlene Cavalier) has been a persistent, consistent advocate for helping everyone engage with science. Her latest project, ScienceforCitizens.net, has just launched. Darlene, in collaboration with Michael Gold, Susan West, and John Ohab, and the support of Science House, has developed Science for Citizens as a way for interested citizens to find out about science opportunities in their local area. The projects could be research opportunities like networks looking for firefly watchers, libraries that need donations of time or material, or online games that provide research input. Researchers can post their projects online as well.
This is a new website, so they could use members to sign up and provide information about available projects. The idea is that the project would involve ordinary people with science in some capacity. The learning is indirect through exposure to science in ways that people may not be used to. So go surf there already.
Following the late night wars has meant that I’m behind with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, so I just watched Monday night’s show with Dr. Margaret Palmer and Emily Pilloton. I posted about this show because of Palmer and her report on the impact of mountain top removal mining. But Pilloton’s design work is as worthy of attention as a science or technology guest on late night.
As you can see in the interview, the work Pilloton supports through her organization, Project H Design, emphasizes the functional aspects of design in addressing societal needs. These needs typically are widespread and not something for-profit concerns are drawn to. But they are effective examples of how simple design changes can lead to solutions. I was guilty of assuming that a designer is just focusing on the aesthetics, in the traditional sense. But what Pilloton and her colleagues at Project H are doing isn’t that far off from Dean Kamen and his work (also a Colbert guest). I regret the assumption.