Science fiction is something my young self used to perceive as great. The freedom to explore any type of technology, world, person, and circumstance allowed for some type of separation from the real world (as if my 4th grade self had any true stressors). But this feeling, these thoughts, of…

It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what ties tie ties. It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.

Upon first skim, at…

Imagine beginning a new project with a team, a group of clones, an individual and multiple copies of themselves. Upon first evaluation, this may seem ideal. No arguing or disagreement, simply like minded humans working fluently at the task at hand. And though this may be true to an extent…

Outside of the actual “science”, the field of science itself has some issues that are to be considered, as they really impact the way in which the general public perceives it. The stereotypes have been reinforced throughout the years, really making some of the issues concrete. When delivering a speech

Three Ideas

1. Standpoint theory

Specific instances of times when the focus of science was narrowed due to the majorities agenda

“What are some examples of this and how do you know”

Standpoint theory gives the ideology, Marie Curie and other sources being examples

Halpern, M. (2019). Feminist standpoint theory and science communication. Journal of Science Communication, 18(4), C02. https://doi.org/ 10.22323/2.18040302

Redniss, L. (2015). Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout. Harper Collins.

2. Who the leaders in science are/who is painted to be the leaders

Mainly white men; problem has improved but is not nearly perfect

Hidden Figures exposes this, also modern day science examples

Marie Curie contradicts this in a sense, still impacted by it

Redniss, L. (2015). Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout. Harper Collins.

Watch…

Finding systemic issues within science has proven to not be a struggle, even still today. Before attempting to continue the discussion of the racial and gender oriented issues within sceience today, I first had to find a modern study, and turned to BBC News to do so.

Being likely overly…

It’s no secret that women have been oppressed in science for about as long as science has been around, and this is usually attributed to the fact that they were degraded, disrespected and as a result received low expectations. Orekes explores the potential of deeper explanations behind their broad mistreatment…

As made apparent throughout history, science was (and to a lesser degree is still) rather one minded. There is a lack of equal representation, excluding based on gender and race, which has been made apparent through agenda setting as well as different historical writings. The evaluation of the Manhattan project…

By now it’s safe to say that everyone is about ready for this virus to go away. COVID-19 has kept quite possibly every individual on Earth from living a normal life for about half a year now. Staying home, wearing masks everywhere, not being able to gather in large groups, and having to be conscious of just about every subtle move they make are all factors that would soon go away given the discovery of an effective vaccine. So, the question is, what is the big wait all about. It’s 2020 and our technologic capabilities have grown exponentially in the recent past, I mean we have the internet at our fingers in a moments notice, so we have to be able to whip up a vaccine for this world renowned bug, right? Well, vaccines, for a multitude of reasons, are not nearly that simple, and it actually oftentimes takes about ten years to effectively create a vaccine. To start, the process costs about $500 million dollars start to finish. Though money likely wouldn’t be a factor in the midst of a pandemic, this is a good representation of the complexity of the process of creation. At the molecular level, it needs to be understood what this virus looks like, the proteins it contains, and how to allow the body to create antibodies to resist the very specific contaminants of this virus. Given that a virus is much, much smaller than any type of bacteria, the difficulty of the process can be understood. Following a possible development, the vaccines must be tested and proven effective, which is quite possibly the most difficult part. But it isn’t necessarily the science that makes for issues, but rather the ethical issues regarding how to prove its effectiveness.

There are current vaccinations for COVID in existence, however, they have obviously not been released to the public yet as the effectiveness has not yet been determined. It usually requires plenty of testing on animals before moving to people, but there have been some ideas about speeding up the process. They are called “human challenge” trials, where individuals try to become infected with the virus, allowing for a further understanding of the virus and effectiveness of the vaccine. It began as more of an idea, but now there are over 30,000 individuals who have offered to partake in these trials. Though this idea may sounds intriguing, and very well could help the greater good, is it an ethical way to perform science? Intentionally infecting individuals with a virus that has the potential to kill them, and testing vaccines that are not yet proven to work, doesn’t seem like any type of assured process. The severity of COVID-19 has created a desparate time, but is it acceptable, or even worth it, to perform the human challenge trials? This is something of great debate, and a result I most definitely await.

Frank Ruffino

Fall 2020 LB 492

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store