Jan 12, 2012

2012 New Years resolution

Dear readers,

Happy new year!  In reflecting on 2011 and what's to come in 2012 over the holidays, I admit that I'm not the best blogger out there.  As such, one of my 2012 new years resolutions is to adhere to my blog's mission statement and keep you informed about science!  To make the resolution achievable, I plan to give myself 'homework' due at the end of each month and pick 12 topics (1 for each month) that I think are worthy of discussion with you.  

To give you a taste of what's to come, January 2012 will cover the the issue of bioethics and insights to the personal side of scientific investigation, as I am currently reading Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010).  After hearing about its release in 2010, I spent a long time at the 2010 American Society of Cell Biology's Annual Meeting in Philadelphia searching for a copy to buy in publisher's row in the big poster session room.  With no luck.  That surprised me because cell biologists are one of the largest users of HeLa cells, and this is a story about the woman and family behind those cells.  By the time I found a copy of the book in 2011 at the local bookstore and got swept into reading the first half of the book, I got sidetracked in April to write my Ph.D. thesis.  So, months later, I've started from scratch to read the book again (it's a compelling non-fiction story) and I'll share with you the life of Henrietta Lacks and the heartbreaking story of her family in the aftermath of the birth of HeLa.  Maybe some of you will read the book with me!  I also hope to open a discussion about bioethics in science.

In February 2012, I will go outside of my biology comfort zone and discuss the current search for Higg's boson and particle physics, which I got intrigued by at a network meeting for my postdoc research fellowship in November.  I'll do my best to summarize what I learn about the current state of particle physics, and what makes gravity so hard to reconcile with the rest of the forces of the universe.  It's an issue that stumped Einstein himself!

If you have any suggestions for topics to cover for the rest of 2012, please let me know!


1 comment:

  1. "The Immortal Life" was a pretty good read! It really helped bring the humanity into science.

    Other options: "The Age of Wonder" (Richard Holmes) was a pretty cool compilation of some science history, but it was a bit thick at some points. I haven't read it, but Bill Bryson's "Seeing Further" might be a good one. Also, if you want to focus more on where science is right now, Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape" might be a great choice, though it's sparked some controversy.

    Happy reading!