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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Graham Hatfull
On episode #87 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich hear from Professor Graham Hatfull how students in the Phage Hunters Integrating Research and Education (PHIRE) program learn about scientific inquiry by doing research on bacteriophages.
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Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #87 (62 MB .mp3, 86 minutes)
Links for this episode:
- Bacteriophage Research: Gateway to learning science
- Mycobacterium smegmatis at NCBI
- Prof. Steve Cresawn
- Scientist infected with computer virus (thanks, Jason!)
- The Invisible ABCs
- Letters read on TWiV 87
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47% named Albert Einstein
23% could not name anyone
6% named Marie Curie
4% named Louis Pasteur
4% named Thomas Edison
The survey was conducted by L’Oreal, but the methods were not revealed. Therefore it is not possible to determine if the results can be extended to the adult population in general. Nevertheless, the poor showing on naming a famous scientist is an indictment of the science education of those who participated in the survey.
I’m interested in how the readers of virology blog would respond to the question, ‘Name a scientist’ – it doesn’t have to be a famous scientist, and it should not be a relative, or the author of virology blog. Don’t look up someone in a book or online – I’m interested in who you would think of spontaneously. Post your answer – just one scientist – in the comments section, or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll reveal the results here in a few weeks.
In attempting to determine how the L’Oreal survey was conducted, I learned about the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program, an effort to celebrate women who have dedicated their careers to scientific research, and to encourage emerging talent to pursue scientific discoveries. It’s a commendable program, and I do hope they impress upon the recipients of these awards the need to educate the public about their work.