Washington, District of Columbia 2021-06-15 11:46:02 –
June 15, 2021
Emily Revesque websiteYou will notice that one punctuation mark, the exclamation mark, stands out. “Classify giant stars with machine learning!” Read one blog post. “Thorn-gravitational waves from Jitokou objects!” Read another.
“My default state is an exclamation mark,” said Levesque, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Washington. “Why couldn’t you when we were talking about the universe, and when we were talking about science?”
Today, Levesque is bringing that enthusiasm to the Great Course. Great Course is an online learning platform that offers the general public classes on a variety of topics, from playing the guitar to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. Levesque course, “Discovery of great heroes and astronomy, ”Takes the viewer to a tour of the greatest progress and the people behind it, one of the oldest sciences in mankind.
The course, which began in February, began six months after Levesque’s popular science book on the history of observational astronomy.Last Stargazer.. The course consists of 24 lectures and covers the work of familiar and first-time scientists such as Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan and Edwin Hubble.
Their names include Henrietta Swan Levitt. She was one of Harvard’s computers and a team of women who processed astronomical data. This work became famous in the movie “Hidden Figures”. Leavitt’s work on measuring distances to stars laid the foundation for Hubble’s claim that the universe is expanding. George Carruthers was an African-American scientist who patented UV cameras and made the only telescope we brought to the moon. Vera Rubin discovered dark matter. Today, the entire astrophysics subfield is dedicated to studying it. The Chilean giant telescope is now named after her.
“This course pierces our idea of what a science hero is,” Levesque said. “Science is done by a white man in a room, and there is a stereotype that comes up with an idea and then spits it completely into space.”
This stereotype overlooks the collaborative nature of science. This is emphasized in the Levesque course. Breakthroughs can result from the efforts of 12 scientists working together over time, or the heroic efforts of a team of thousands. Levesque teaches a unit on the discovery of gravitational waves. The Washington Gravitational Wave Detector was part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), which required thousands of people to build and thousands to maintain.
Levesque also broadens the definition of heroism, improving access to astronomy, making it more comprehensive, and including acts that make scientific literacy open to the public.
In one lecture, we talk about Frank Camenny, an astronomer at the Army Map Service. A few months after being hired in 1957, Kamenny was fired when she refused to answer questions about her sexual orientation. He filed a proceeding against the federal government. This was the first claim in a US court of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Although unsuccessful, Kamenny became the leader in the fight for LGBTQ rights.
“It’s a really important time to remember that science is done by humans,” Levesque said. “I don’t think it’s more important than ever to understand science, and the humanity behind the discoveries we made. The human side of scientists is what they do. It cannot be separated from science. “
The human side of scientists not only influences their work, but also shapes the story of science. The stories we tell about science heroes and discoveries often make science memorable. If the story about people is interesting, then learning about science continues.
Levesque remembers reading Andrew Chaiken’s book “Man in the Moon: Astronaut Apollo’s Voyage” about his early space program as a teenager. She loved learning about astronauts and mission control people. She was already a “space geek”, but she could work in astronomy by reading about what they enjoyed, identifying them, and seeing the creative problem-solving behind science. I could imagine what it would look like.
The story has the power to inspire. Alternatively, if the story is distorted or told from a single point of view, you can send a message about who belongs or does not belong. That is why it is so important to extend the definition of scientific heroes beyond stereotypes.
Levesque says her colleagues are a wide range of people. They are an ultramarathon. They play in a band. They have a wide range of interests, but they have one thing in common. It’s a love for the universe. More women are entering the field, but the small number of scientists in underrepresented groups such as black and Latino communities still has a way to make astronomy more comprehensive. It shows that.
But if a wider range of stories is told, more people can imagine themselves doing their jobs. And that will lead to better science.
“When talking about scientific heroes, it’s always worth reminding people that a lot of people are needed to do this job,” Levesque said. “Unique contributions can come from having different perspectives on the issues and other disciplines available to scientists. All kinds of talents and skill sets that want science to be a part of their lives. , And we need enthusiastic people. That’s the material and the way we do science. “
UW astronomer redefines the scientific hero as part of The Great Courses Source link UW astronomer redefines the scientific hero as part of The Great Courses