Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Are Scientists Human?

Intrigued by the title of the blog post? Good. This is a workshop I'm running on Friday morning as part of the Bright Ideas fellowship I was awarded here at the Genomics Forum which has brought me to Edinburgh for 2 (snowy) weeks. I'm having a wonderful time! Friday is my last day, and this is what I'll be up to. Come along!

Are Scientists Human?


Creative writing workshop to explore the “human face” of science. Are scientists human? If you rely on television and films to answer this question (e.g. The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, The Fly, Jurassic Park...) you might think the answer is "No". You may believe that all scientists are white-coated madmen (mostly men, yes) who don't experience normal human emotions, and aren't much in touch with the real world. And that science is all about right and wrong, no mess, no failure, just clinical, cut and dried.

But if you set foot into a real lab - as has Tania Hershman, writer-in-residence at Bristol University's Science Faculty, and Genomics Forum Bright Ideas Fellow - science may seem to be a completely different world, with its own language (actually, many, many languages, depending on the specific field) and strange tools and practices. But apart from that, the people doing the science on a daily basis are (mostly) just like the rest of us.

Anyone interested in exploring the human face of science can join Tania in a creative workshop, where she will share and discuss some of the very short stories written as fruits of her residency, and, through writing exercises, illustrate different ways to take inspiration from science and scientists for fiction - whether it be from lab life, from wonderful scientific words like "lamellipodia" or from scientific concepts.

The workshop will take place at 11:30am, Friday 13 April 2012, at the Genomics Forum, St John’s Land, Edinburgh. No previous experience is necessary, and places can be booked via the event’s page on the Eventbrite website.
 

5 delightful comments:

Tim Love said...

I don't know about scientists and normal people, but I was pleased to see this recently, about scientists and artists

"Although scientists were found to share many similarities with artists (openness, flexibility, cognitive complexity, self-confidence, dominance and introversion) they differed in their view of power: scientists were found to be more accepting of authority whereas artists were more rebelious" (The Times Higher, 22/3/12, p.44)

Tania Hershman said...

Ha! I like that you found it pleasing... Rebels versus conformists, eh? I'm reading Michael Brooks' book, Free Radicals, which begs to differ...

Vanessa Gebbie said...

It was a Tuesday when Lamellopodia struck Alice. It's not easy to walk when your feet have turned into sheep, particularly bad-tempered sheep too. But life's like that, and at least she didn't need shoes any more. However, making sheep-feet stand still while you put the kettle on - that was a challenge. And when your boyfriend comes downstairs saying, "Oh god, Alice, I've got one stinking headache..." and then passes out when he sees your feet - well - you know something's got to give...

Tania Hershman said...

Vanessa - brilliant! You can be honorary guest-from-a-distance on Friday!!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hee! Nearly signed it 'rebellious artist...'

Have a great time on Friday. Look forward to the flash workshop next week.