SLP Newsletter Summer 2014 – Week 2

In this week’s newsletter we have the following announcements:

1) Scientific Ideas – misused and misunderstood
2) Party With the Stars – Lecture, dedication and star gazing July 18, 2014
3) Using 3D Printers to bring tiny structures to ‘life’ – HHMI picture of the week
4) Fellowship opportunities for graduate, postdoctoral, and senior level researchers – National Research Council


1) Scientific Ideas – misused and misunderstood   

The article “10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing“, by Annalee Newitz, was making the rounds last week. If you missed it, take a few minutes to read it. Some of the 10 that Annalee, editor-in-chief of io9, covers include; survival of the fittest, theory, and geologic timescales.

UO Assistant Professor and SLP affiliate, Edward Davis, tackled the Geologic Timescales issue in a flipped class exercise in his Spring 2014 GEOL 103 Evolving Earth course. Students worked in groups to mark different times (eons, eras, and periods) on a long roll of paper. Once they were finished, they added information about important events such as ‘oldest known rock’, ‘first trace fossil’s, and ‘rise of atmospheric oxygen.’ This gave students a chance to create a tangible representation of the geologic timeline.

What scientific misconceptions have you run into? Email us your story.

Newitz, A. (2014, June 16). 10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://io9.com/10-scientific-ideas-that-scientists-wish-you-would-stop-1591309822/+AnnaleeNewitz

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2) Party With the Stars – Lecture, dedication and star gazing July 18, 2014

UO Astronomy Lecturer and Outreach Coordinator  and SLP affiliate, Scott Fischer, is giving a talk prior to the dedication of the Ken Robbins Dome at Pine Mountain Observatory. The talk will focus on what it is like to work as a staff scientist at a modern, large-aperture telescope, and his plans to bring observational astronomy to Oregon.

This UO College of Arts and Sciences event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, please RSVP to 541-346-3236 or http://tinyurl.com/oj5zdgj by July 11.

Date: July 18, 2014

Astronomy Talk
Time: 6:00 – 7:00pm
Location: Oxford Inn – 10 NW Minnesota Ave Bend, OR

Dedication of the Ken Robbins Dome and Star Gazing
Time: 8:30pm
Location: Pine Mountain Observatory

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3) Using 3D Printers to bring tiny structures to ‘life’ – HHMI picture of the week

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s image of the week is a 3D model of the dengue virus.

In time for the World Cup, the 3D model illustrates the soccer-ball like shape given by the outer coating of glycoprotines, a protein plus a carbohydrate. This also ties in with UO Associate Professor and SLP affiliate Raghuveer Parthasarathy’s recent class PHYS 171 The Physics of Life. In their final project for the class, students worked in groups to learn about a chosen protein. Each group used the UO 3D printer, located in the Science Library, to print a scaled-up representation of the protein’s molecular structure. The 3D models were used to explore how visualizations can lead to understanding form and function. On the last day of class, the groups took turns teaching the rest of the class about what their protein does and how its structure and physical function are related,

Are you interested in learning more about the Dengue Virus? HHMI’s BioInteractive has a number of animations and short videos illustrating how the virus infects cells and about the life cycle of the mosquito vector available on their YouTube playlist.

The Science Literacy Program is funded through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) with significant internal support from the University of Oregon.

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4) Fellowship opportunities for graduate, postdoctoral, and senior level researchers – National Research Council

The National Research Council of the National Academies sponsors a number of awards for graduate, postdoctoral and senior researchers at participating federal laboratories and affiliated institutions. These awards include generous stipends ranging from $45,000 – $80,000 per year for recent Ph.D. recipients, and higher for additional experience. Graduate entry level stipends begin at $30,000. These awards provide the opportunity for recipients to do independent research in some of the best-equipped and staffed laboratories in the U.S. Research opportunities are open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and for some of the laboratories, foreign nationals.

Detailed program information, including online applications, instructions on how to apply, and a list of participating laboratories, are available on the NRC Research Associateship Programs Web site .

Questions should be directed to the NRC at 202-334-2760 (phone) or by email to the Research Associates Programs.

There are four annual review cycles.
Review Cycle: August; Opens June 1; Closes August 1
Review Cycle: November; Opens September 1; Closes November 1
Review Cycle: February; Opens December 1; Closes February 1
Review Cycle: May; Opens March 1; Closes May 1

Applicants should contact prospective Adviser(s) at the lab(s) prior to the application deadline to discuss their research interests and funding opportunities.

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