Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to school

This blog is entering its fifth year today, and the content will be shifting a bit now that I am returning to school. Today was my first day of new graduate student orientation before classes begin next week; I'm a Ph.D. student in Arizona State University's Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology program, which is beginning its second year. This is an interdisciplinary program within the Graduate College and allied with the School of Life Sciences, so today's orientation was with new graduate students from other programs in SoLS. SoLS has 250 graduate students in 11 programs, of which 49 are entering this semester. (I chatted a bit with a couple of new graduate students in neuroscience.)

There seems to be a wealth of supporting organizations and structures to SoLS programs to assist in getting funding, doing research, participating in education and public outreach, and dealing with administrivia. I'll be delving into as much of it as I can, and periodically reporting on items of particular interest here.

From today's orientation, a few items that are part of SoLS education and public outreach are worthy of note. ASU has an "Ask-a-Biologist" program online, which you can also follow via Twitter. That program is intended for students in grades K-12, and is projected to hit a million visitors this year. There's also the Science Studio Podcasts for adult education. And the International Institute for Species Exploration website. There's also a program run by SoLS graduate students called Graduate Partners in Science Education, where graduate student volunteers work with underprivileged and at-risk junior high school students on field biology research projects.

My current aim in the HSDST program is to build upon my past graduate experience in philosophy and cognitive science, my career in Internet services and information security, my interest in skeptical inquiry and critical thinking, and my interest in law to explore the concepts of trust and reputation as they pertain to online and digital media. At the moment, I'm signed up for a seminar on "Law, Science, and Technology," a seminar on "Human and Social Dimensions of Climate Change," the HSDST Core Seminar and Colloquium, and a course with one of my favorite undergraduate philosophy professors on Advanced Logic (that's my "just for fun" class).

Tomorrow's a reception for all of the new graduate students at ASU's Tempe campus, and later in the week I have some training on fire and lab safety--and next week, it's back to class.


Hume's Ghost said...

I can't wait to address you as Dr. Lippard!

Hume's Ghost said...