Science Chicks From History
I stumbled across the Tumblr Science Chicks From History, which is pretty much exactly like it sounds: a blog dedicated to women from science history. Sweet and simple, each entry features a brief description of a lady scientist, usually partnered with an accompanying image. It serves as a lovely introduction to a group of scientists, mathematicians and technologists you may want to know more about.
I'm particulary intrigued by Aglaonike, cited as the first female astronomer in Greece, and Hypatia of Alexandria (350? - 415 AD), the first historically noted female mathematician. She sounds like a pretty cool chick:
She dressed in the clothes of a scholar instead of women’s clothes and drove her own chariot. Hypatia was murdered in the streets of Alexandria by a Christian mob after being accused of witchcraft and godlessness. Her writings were destroyed when the Library of Alexandria was burned.
As a member of a classical theater company, I've spent a lot of time in imagined worlds populated with ancient Greek gods and goddesses. But these women clearly had some real-world powers of their own which enabled them to perservere in learning and teaching at a time when science was truly a man's occupation.
Fire It Up! Curiosity's Laser Zaps Her First Target
"Do you expect me to talk?"
"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."
Ok, let's be honest - lasers are just cool! It's fun to watch stuff get blown up, plus they come in awfully handy when trying to destroy the world (yes, I watch a lot of superhero movies). Luckily, Curiosity is on a benevolent mission, so when the Mars rover fired up its laser for the first time on August 19th, she had the best of intentions. Her target for this first test? A fist-sized rock called "Coronation." Here's what went down:
The mission's Chemistry and Camera instrument, or ChemCam, hit the fist-sized rock with 30 pulses of its laser during a 10-second period. Each pulse delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second.
The energy from the laser excites atoms in the rock into an ionized, glowing plasma. ChemCam catches the light from that spark with a telescope and analyzes it with three spectrometers for information about what elements are in the target.
The technique has been used in a variety of extreme environments here on Earth, including inside nuclear reactors and on the sea floor, but this is the first time it's been used to explore an object on another planet. ChemCam was developed, built and tested by the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in partnership with scientists and engineers funded by the French national space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and research agency, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).
This composite image incorporates a Navigation Camera image taken prior to the test, with
magnified insets taken by the camera in ChemCam. The circular insert highlights the rock before
the laser test. The square inset is further magnified and processed to show the difference
between images taken before and after the laser interrogation of the rock.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP
The Art of Botany: Call for Entries
The Canadian Botanical Association/L'Association Botanique du Canada (CBA/ABC) 49th Annual Meeting and Conference, which is being held June 2013 in Kamloops, BC, will feature an "Art of Botany" show highlighting how art supports botanical research and learning about plants. The idea for this exhibition grew out of a collaborative relationship between an art instructor Ila Crawford and a botany instructor Lyn Baldwin at Thompson Rivers University.
In this article by Baldwin and Crawford, which appeared in the March 2012 Edition of the CBA/ABC Bulletin, each gives her take on the relationship between art and science.
Here's the official submission information:
Art and Science: Drawing and Botany
Artists and Botanists are invited to submit work that responds to the assertion that “art inhabits the teaching and practice of botany, and conversely botanical subjects and scientific methods have a legitimate place in teaching and practicing art.” The exhibition, "Art and Science: Drawing and Botany," will present an array of work that facilitates discussion about integrating art with science and science with art. Specifically this exhibit will include work that explores questions about the perceived boundaries between art and science, and will add to a growing synergy between art and botany. Many scientists, and specifically botanists, incorporate art practices as part of their own research, and many artists explore the realm of botany in their practice.
Invited: Artists, botanists, and groups of artists and botanists working on special projects (10 or more individuals)
Submissions: Three maximum for individuals; one per member for group submissions. Only original work will be accepted, no reproductions. Sketchbooks will be accepted. Only digital images will be accepted for the jurying process.
Entry Fee: $10 per registration ($10 covers up to three works)
Deadlines: Individual submissions (March 29, 2013), Project-based submissions (January 15, 2013)
For additional information about digital submissions, artist’s statements, insurance and more, visit Art and Science: Drawing and Botany.