This years films and Academy Awards are full of Science!! Let’s not stop there!! #ScienceOscars #ElsevierOscars #IfScientistsWere

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The Academy Awards (aka The Oscars) are this Sunday!! This year’s Oscar nominations include a plethora of films that are science themed – “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything,” and “Still Alice” showcase scientists and research!! In light of the Oscars, and to have some science fun, we are starting another science-based twitter hashtag (like previous #IfScientistsWere)!

#ScienceOscars – making movie titles, movie tag lines, and other Oscar nominations science-related (our science take on the hilarious #MakeAFilmUncomfortable and #ReplaceAMovieTitleWithGoat)! Feel free to tweet using the hashtag #ScienceOscars, write your idea in the comments below, or write it on our Facebook wall!! For ideas, a good starting place is this list of all nominees for Best Picture!

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For those people who might want to have fun and also promote open and equal access to science, feel free to use #ElsevierOscars (An Oscars themed #ElsevierValentines).

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What if scientists acted like celebrities? #IfScientistsWere #IfScientistsWereProAthletes

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The other night while watching a sports interview (during the US national figure skating competition to be exact), the writers of CauseScience noticed that athletes get away with saying a lot, trash talking, and completely ignoring criticism. It made us wonder about what it would be like if scientists were treated like celebrities. Our culture values entertainers, athletes, musicians, actors/actresses, and other celebrities to a much higher degree than scientists, doctors… and most other meaningful professions.

Imagine scientists trash talking competitors. Or responding to reviewers comments the same way athletes respond to criticism. Or being interviewed about how running a gel or PCR went that day. It would be hilarious!!

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CauseScience will be launching a series of posts and hashtags to consider what it would be like If Scientists Were… Since this weekend is the superbowl, what better way to start than with #IfScientistsWereProAthletes

A few examples from Ashley Wagner’s interviews surrounding her WIN at the 2015 US Figure Skating Nationals – just to get your wheels spinning. Some negative, but also positive quotes that are quite funny when applied to SCIENCE!

  • About her competitors – “In skating, she makes me uncomfortable, because she’s always kind of breathing down my neck. I don’t like to get beat. And I do not like to get beat by girls.”
  • About her critics – “this shows them that they need to shut their mouths and watch me skate.”
  • About her job – “I LOVE skating, i mean, I’m so lucky that this is my job, that this is what i do everyday.”
  • and again – “I’m so endlessly in love with this sport and I’m so glad I was able to show it with the way I skated tonight.”

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Note: While this is ultimately for fun and a laugh, it can also serve to showcase the lack of public engagement and agreement with science and scientists. As well as the under-appreciation of scientists. In the end, it may not be surprising that most scientists don’t act like celebrities or professional athletes. Science is a profession that trains people to be logical, critical, evidence-based, and open-minded. And usually the ‘system’ keeps most scientists’ egos from getting too big.

UPDATE- See our favorites of #IfScientistsWereProAthletes in a new CauseScience post here!

Video: Disney Beachbot – robot that creates beach art #science #WeWantOlaf!

The real question is… can it draw Olaf from Frozen?? After all he loves summer!

Beachbot

Conceived by Disney Research and working in partnership with a student team at ETH Zürich, the Beachbot is a mobile robot that can turn an ordinary beach into an artist’s canvas. Thanks to innovative balloon wheels, the robot is able to traverse sandy beaches without leaving any noticeable tracks. Drawing is achieved using a controllable rake at the rear of the robot, with individually controllable pins that can be raised and lowered to create thick or thin lines in the sand. The drawing area on the beach is defined simply using four vertical poles that define the corners of the desired sand canvas. The Beachbot can then determine its position on the canvas to a high degree of accuracy using depth sensing and IMU (inertial measurement unit) technology. Artwork can be pre-programmed as the robot can draw lines or create block-filled areas. Alternately manual remote can be used to turn a beach into a live sketchpad. Beachbot is just one of Disney Research’s projects in the area of mobile robotics, including work on path-planning, robot choreography, localization, and human-robot interaction.

Tired of Earth? Visit an exoplanet via NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau’s… posters!

nasexoThe NASA Planet Quest website has tons of information on the search for exoplanets, and the 4,994 exoplanets currently being studied. Be sure to check out the Exoplanet Travel Bureau and their travel posters for exoplanets! You can download high resolution versions of the posters at the website! Each poster has an informative blerb about the exoplanet as well:

Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially ‘habitable zone’ around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. Its star is much cooler and redder than our Sun. If plant life does exist on a planet like Kepler-186f, its photosynthesis could have been influenced by the star’s red-wavelength photons, making for a color palette that’s very different than the greens on Earth. This discovery was made by Kepler, NASA’s planet hunting telescope.

nasaexoSuper cool… super fun… super space science!! Tons more awesome science about exoplanets at the NASA Planet Quest webpage!