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Ask a Math and Science Nerd

Hello, Persephoneers! I’ll be bringing you the remaining Nobel Laureate ladies next week, and I’d love to know what you’re interested in learning about after that! I definitely want to look at more of the amazing women working in the sciences today, but what do y’all want to read more about? Any math questions, scientific topics, or suggestions of women I may not know about? Leave them in the comments below.

And as an apology not putting together a real post this week (my child suddenly does NOT want to sleep, grrr), I give you the video that is the source of one of my favorite .gifs ever, starring one of my favorite scientists. Ladies, feast your eyes on Neil deGrasse Tyson and his very large rocket!

Neil deGrasse Tyson opens a rocket (from YouTube)

By [E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

2 replies on “Ask a Math and Science Nerd”

I have a science question that is very unpopular.  I do not mean to be offensive, I really do want  a good scientific answer to understand these ideas.  So, here goes….

Is there a genetic basis for racial differences?  I am a social scientist by training (and a person of color) and frequently hear/read that “race is socially constructed”.  I understand the socially defined aspect to racial concepts.  But I also know that Latinos have higher rates of diabetes, African Americans sickle cell, Tay-Sachs among the Jewish population and so on.  Furthermore, the bone marrow and organ donor registries have clear campaigns targeted at minority populations that say matches are more likely within one’s ethnic and racial group.

So, is there a biological, genetic or some other scientific definition of race that renders “race is socially constructed” false?  Thanks very very much.

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