Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Distractions with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Meenakshi Prabhune

Hello, science fans,

I sincerely hope that you all are safe and finding ways to remain sane inside the confines of your home. What a time to be alive! Most of us are not only witnessing the first pandemic of our lives, but in this digital age, we are also fortunate to witness the progress of science firsthand. Never have I ever felt so exhilarated as I feel now on reading about every new COVID-19 diagnostic test, every new therapy tested, or every new lab opening its doors to coronavirus research. And of course, the solidarity of healthcare professionals who are working day and night to save lives.

While we all need to stay informed, it is natural to feel anxious about the situation and get overwhelmed not to have anything else to talk or read about. So, in the spirit of positivity (and distraction), here’s something I liked. Check out the “Some Good News” YouTube channel by John Krasinski; it is full of positivity that we all need during these times. Want to bring in some fun in your work-from-home life? I am sure you have heard of virtual Zoom backgrounds already, but did you know that you could play a pre-recorded video as background as well? This means a pre-recorded YOU could be interrupting your own meeting to freak others out. Definitely worth trying to see the shock on your colleagues’ faces!    

If you are missing your science fix, I have the perfect recommendation for you. Check out Human Nature, a documentary film about CRISPR, that released recently. For those of you who do not know, CRISPR is a gene editing tool that has revolutionized biology. Its ability to make changes in plant and animal genomes has made this tool popular in the mainstream media as well. Human Nature weaves a beautiful story with researcher interviews and stories of patients suffering from genetic diseases. I urge you to watch this informative movie, which is bound to spark a conversation within the community. Human Nature is available on iTunesVimeoAmazon, and Google Play.

Virtual science events are a thing too! For instance, Taste of science is organizing a webinar about COVID-19’s impact on science and society. So, keep an eye out for those. Lastly, check out Exploratorium’s Learn at Home Materials and Cal Academy’s Academy at Home initiative to keep learning during shelter-in-place.

Stay safe and curious,
Meenakshi Prabhune (a.k.a Minu)
Science Journalist and Writer

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