Welcome to my blog! I'm excited that I FINALLY started this project of sharing about the science of being human.
I am starting this blog because there is SO MUCH cool science about humans and the world around us. I believe that science should be available to people even if they don't read scientific articles in academic journals. And let's be honest: most people don't read scientific articles because they are long and the writing is pretty boring for the most part. Most articles are also filled with really complex ideas and terms that it can take people years to figure out. But I believe it doesn't have to be that way.
I am starting this blog because I believe that non-scientists are capable of understanding science (even the really complex stuff). Scientists just need to explain it better. This is my attempt to explain cool science to everyone, no matter their background.
Let me introduce myself:
My name is Jena, and I am a developmental scientist (but I also go by the title "developmental psychologist"). I am a scientist because I study people. I am trying to figure out how people interact with each other and the world, how our brains and our bodies respond when we experience things that are stressful, and how all the forces around us help shape us into who we are. I’m a developmental scientist because I’m trying to figure out all the ways we change—and sometimes the ways we stay the same—from before we’re born until we’re well into our golden years.
I think science and psychology are SO INTERESTING. I can nerd out about findings for way too long, and I get visibly excited when talking about research: my eyes widen, I get really animated, and I start talking around a mile/minute. So it makes sense that I got my PhD in developmental psychology so that I can think about research every day.
I graduated -- and became Dr. Doom! -- in 2016, and now I'm working as a postdoctoral fellow in developmental and child psychology. Thinking about and doing science is my day job, so why wouldn't I share the stuff I'm learning about with you fine people?
What this blog is about:
I am aiming to do a few important things through this blog:
- I plan to share really interesting information about science to a wide audience of scientists, science enthusiasts, and soon-to-be science enthusiasts. While some concepts are more difficult to understand than others, I aim to present information in a way that everyone can understand. Learning about science is important because we can all use science to better our lives!
- I want to share more about the process of science and about scientists so that science doesn't seem like something that's only done in a dark lab by a bunch of mad scientists with crazy hair. I don't know where movies and TV shows got this idea, but it's really not that crazy! I will be asking other scientists (and hopefully non-scientists who love science!) to create guest posts to talk about their science and how science affects them. I also plan to link to some of the articles that I'm referring to in each post so you can see what an article looks like and investigate for yourself!
- I want to encourage communication between scientists and non-scientists. I am always open to comments and questions to have meaningful conversations. I hope that scientists start taking the time to explain their work to non-scientists. I also hope that once non-scientists learn that science is accessible to them, they will feel comfortable asking questions to scientists! It's a lofty goal, but I can dream, can't I?
As a side note: one of the other reasons I'm starting this blog is that science is experiencing a very real threat. There have been proposals to cut funding for science, and much of our work in science is being dismissed. This is dangerous for us as a society, since science helps us answer questions about our world and guides the solutions to our toughest problems.
As a scientist, I believe I have both the obligation and the privilege of spreading what we’re learning about the world to everyone, regardless of their science background!
Non-scientists can learn about science, apply it to their everyday lives, and ask important questions about the world that can help us make progress in solving the toughest questions.
I truly believe that scientists and non-scientists need to be talking to each other about science every single day. Scientists need to hear from non-scientists about problems that need to be tackled. Non-scientists must learn about progress in science to apply this knowledge to real-world problems.