A Day in the Life of Jennifer Dougna

Jennifer Dougna once said, “My inbox was exploding, and journal editors were calling me. It was just crazy. You could see this tidal wave coming towards you, you know?” and for the world’s most sought after scientist that was what her life was like. A giant, kaotic worldwin moving at a fast pace, but what will she do when her life slows down and is she prepared for when she retires? Will she apply for Whole life care if she hasn’t already and will she encourage her sons to prepare financially as well?

A question many people have is, what will the institute do after Jennifer Dougna retires? What I want to know is how will she continue on her legacy after she is truly gone? Does Mrs. Dougna have protection in plan for her and her family if she were to pass away? Does Jennifer have a hybrid long term insurance plan set up for her husband and two boys who are about to head off to college?

9A.M.

At the edge of the Berkeley campus in California, a crowd is growing in anticipation of seeing Dougna. She is there in the first floor conference room of the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) ready to speak in front of a group of her peers. As the students file in she is asked a few questions and then the class begins. Doudna is the executive director of IGI which is an academic initiative program run by UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. IGI aims to fulfill the promise of CRISPR which Dougna helped discover. 

CRISPR is a powerful genome-editing tool.

9:10A.M

Dougna goes over a few mundane tasks such as updating the room on equipment updates and lab life. After she finished, a plant biologist gave his presentation. The first of the many presentations for that day. He now is updating the room on a project overseen jointly by Dougna and Berkeley colleague Brian Staskawicz, too create a gene edited rice. After the presentation is a postdoc there to interview for a spot on the team. The grad student is from the California Institute of Technology. He moves rapidly through slides while describing a chemical technique known as direct evolution.

Years ago Dougna’s was on a much smaller team of only about 25 people, now she has not only a larger team consisting of graduate students and postdocs, but a more diverse group of people. Her team is more diverse not only in what projects they explore, but also in different types of scientists those projects attract.

As Dougna’s classes have grown she has had to change the way she runs her lab. Her new type of class is more independent and more likely to work with another student to solve a problem then relying solely on her. Dougna has said, “It’s more of a management thing, and I never thought I would love it,” she says of this acquired skill. “Incredible science happens when you get the right person on the right project at the right time. Figuring that out for each person and project in the lab is a constant jigsaw puzzle.”

11A.M.

As she approaches her white board in her next class, her puzzle skills are on full display. She is interviewing the Caltech chemists in her lab’s conference room. She has been patiently waiting while others quiz and question the hopeful postdoc, but now it is her time to come alive and the white board soon fills with charts and lists as she outlines her ideas for the project that this student may be working on, if he is hired. This project would open up a new area of science within the lab.

11:35 A.M. 

After her meeting she walks into her office to see two students sitting in her office, from Gladstone, a nonprofit research institution based in San Francisco. Their main goal is to tackle unsolved diseases. Both their mission and Doudna’s align to pinpoint the genetic cause and treatment of diseases. This meeting is about using CRISPR to find a novel drug target against cancer. She offers to introduce the two students to two oncologists who she believes could further help them.

1:10P.M.

Dougna carries her lunch back into the congress room and continues with a series of meetings. As she finishes up her last meeting she jots down in her little black notebook about connecting the two Gladstone scientists to collaborators. She continues to work on things such as her line-by-line budget checks.

2:30P.M.

Dougna goes back into her office with her assistant to go over her schedule and then after her meeting with her assistant ends she relishes the small amount of time before she must shift her focus again to another topic.

3:00P.M.

Dougna is back in the conference room to meet about CASX, a next-generation enzyme that helps snap DNA. This new gene editor is far more improved then its older counterparts.

Buy 4:00PM.

Her next client is already waiting outside the room and she set down a computer on the table. Dougna gets on the conference call that has already begun. At the end of the meeting the person outside the waiting room picks up the computer and walks out of the room. 

5:30P.M. 

Dougna always texts her husband at five thirty, whose lab is just above hers on the second floor and they ride home together.

With two boys about to go to college Dougna plans on taking a year long sabbatical. What will she do with this time? Maybe plan for the future for her sons and husband by looking into retirement and hybrid long term life insurance for her two boys and herself. With her taking a sabbatical I hope she is able to sit down and talk with her husband and sons about the options they have in hybrid long term life insurance for not only herself and her husband, but her two boys who will need a plan of their own soon. Hybrid long term insurance can help Jennifer Dougna and so many others and now it’s easier than ever. With just a click of the keyboard and mouse people can sign up for hybrid long term care insurance from home in a time frame they choose.  Getting an independent agent to help walk you through the process all from your own home or office makes getting your plans in order easier than ever. I truly hope Jennifer Dougna and her husband find the time to set up their own hybrid long term care insurance plans in the near future.

Technology & Aging

Technology has come a long way since it was first introduced and how soon after birth you were first introduced to technology may vary upon your age. In fact numerous technological advances are made each year. Some us were born into the age of cellphones, smart cars, and telemedicine. Whereas your parents or grandparents may have been born in the age of pagers and no automatic car windows.

Perhaps, this explain why the older demographic is not often labeled as technologically savvy as millennials or generation Z. Nonetheless this doesn’t meant that all age groups can’t appreciate our technological advances today. Especially in the world of long-term, care even those older individual once living in a world with less tech can reap benefits now.

When it comes to home automation and safety for seniors, tech is at the forefront leading with multiple possibilities. From smart lights, fall alert systems, to automated walkers, there is much tech has to offer to aging seniors. Check out this article found on LTCTREE.Com which list a wide array of gadgets used to improve home safety for seniors.

Who are the most brilliant scientists in the last 100 years?

Not so long ago, people used to communicate through letters that would sometimes take weeks to arrive to their destination. Diseases such as Malaria, Polio, and Chickenpox would kill millions of people. Life was difficult simply because of the fact that many of the tools we have today didn’t exist back then. Thanks to some of the most brilliant scientists in the world, life changes on a daily basis – for the better. While it is not remotely possible to acknowledge all of the most brilliant minds in this small space, this article highlights and honors a few of these incredible geniuses.

Albert Einstein

No mention of the world’s top scientists would be complete without the mention of Albert Einstein. This German born scientist was indeed one of the brightest minds that ever roamed the earth. In 1921, Einstein invented the photoelectric effect and won the Nobel Prize. He also proposed the special theory of relativity, which changed our understanding of physics. Other notable inventions by Albert Einstein include the general theory of relativity, and the wave particle duality. Einstein is usually rated among the most influential physicists of all time.

Tim Berners Lee

 Tim Berners Lee is an English computer scientist who is best known as the father of the World Wide Web. Mr. Lee was knighted by the Queen Elizabeth for this revolutionary work, which redefined technology and changed everything from communication to access to information and resources. In addition to inventing the ‘www’ concept, Tim Berners Lee also made the first website in 1991.

Alan Guth

Alan Guth is an American cosmologist and theoretical physicist who researched elementary particle theory and its applicability to the universe. Guth won the Kavli Prize and the Fundamental Physics Prize after his groundbreaking work developing the theory of cosmic inflation – which explains why the universe is as large as it is.

Jennifer Doudna

Doudna is most famous due to her work on CRISPR, which is genome-editing project that generated a lot of interest over the last few years. This invention – made alongside French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier – has been one of the most important scientific discoveries in decades. Jennifer has at one time been ranked among TIME’s most influential people.

Shinya Yamanaka

Born in Higashiosaka, Japan, Shinya Yamanaka is a Nobel Prize-winning stem cell researcher who discovered (along with another researcher) that existing cells could be converted to stem cells. Mr. Yamanaka is a professor at Kyoto University in Japan, where he is in charge of the Center for iPS Research and Application.

These scientists are not necessarily the best of the best but just a representative of people who have changed science and technology as we know it. Numerous other names – hundreds of brilliant mind from all corners of the world – have been recognized in the media and by professional bodies for their groundbreaking innovations.

Best telescopes for kids to learn astronomy in 2020

Astronomy and space exploration are becoming more popular today than they ever have been. NASA regularly announces new discoveries and even live streams missions to the International Space Station, enlightening both professionals and aficionados to the wonders of space exploration. Even more interestingly, companies like SpaceX have made the dream of exploring Mars seem like more of a possibility during most people’s lifetime.

Amid all these fascinating developments, many parents are faced with curious kids who bombard them with endless questions regarding the planet, constellation, stars, galaxies, and the universe. One of the best tools you can equip yourself with to adequately answer these questions is a telescope. In this article, we look at the best telescopes for kids in 2020.

Celestron Travel Scope Telescope

The Celestron Travel Scope is an 80mm telescope that will make it easier (and interesting) for kids to learn about our solar system and space in general. This fantastic travel telescope for kids comes with a superior 80mm objective lens, a lightweight frame, powerful eyepieces for up-close observation, bonus carry bag, and a smartphone adapter and astronomy Software. The full-height tripod, also included, makes it easier to set up the telescope for a steady view of the wonders of the night sky.

Price: $110

Celestron 31036 AstroMaster LT

This is the second best kids telescope that comes with a permanently mounted StarPointer finderscope. The electron 31036 is quick to use and requires no setup. It features a rugged pre-assembled tripod for a rigid and stable platform, glass mirrors, an accessory try for storing the accessories. If you want to supply your kid with a dual purpose telescope system that will allow both celestial and terrestrial viewing, this model is the perfect choice. The Celestron 31036 is available in 3 different power configurations with prices ranging from $99 to $200.

Price: $99 – $200

Emarth Telescope

This is a premium quality telescope for patients who are looking to introduce their children to astronomy. The Emarth offers high quality opitics with a 70mm aperture, finderscope, high magnification, adjustable tripod, and everything else you need to explore space right from the comfort of your home. This telescope is easy to set up and comes with a manual so you can get started right away. Get the Emarth, wait for clear weather, and point it out to the sky.

Price: $86

MaxUSee Kids

The MaxUSee Kids Telescope is the perfect choice for parents who are on a budget. This portable telescope for kids and beginners has a focal length of 400mm with a 5 x 18 finderscope so you can achieve bright and clear images. It comes with two eyepieces and a built in compass for added convenience. The MaxUSee is very easy to setup and your kid will have a great time using it. Even more interesting is the fact that this awesome telescope will set you back only $36.

Price: $36

NASA Lunar Telescope

The NASA Lunar Telescope is the best piece of equipment for viewing the moon. It is capable of a whopping 90x magnification and features two eyepieces, finder scope, tabletop tripod, and full-color learning guide. This telescope allows your kid to see the moon in incredible detail. It is the perfect gift choice for kids who are interested in astronomy, or need to learn as part of their school work.

These telescopes are a great fit for getting your kids started on astronomy. As they progress to learn, then you may consider buying a more capable and expensive telescope to accommodate their needs.

WHAT IS STS?

Recently, Science and Technology Studies (STS) started to capture the attention of the academic world. You can trace back its roots all the way to the World War I and II up to the Cold War. Historians, sociologists of science, and even scientists noticed how scientific knowledge and technology change society.

Authors like Thomas Kuhn fanned the interest by writing The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The seminal book explored how social programming influenced historical and social studies of science.

It was a novel idea when the book was first published. It mean that supposed scientific truths weren’t objective facts rooted in reality but the result of socially conditioned minds.

The book inspired social scientists to explore the relationship between science, technology, and how they affect
other areas of society including law, politics, and culture.

The following list contains many great books in the field of science, technology and society for those who want to explore those intriguing concepts.

Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences
Geoffrey C. Bowker, Susan Leigh Star

Sorting Things Out isn’t easy to read but it’s a fundamental work that explores the subject under a new light. Both of the authors are communication professors at the University of California. In their book, they detail how once a classification system is set in motion it takes over society in subtle, invisible ways.

They used three main examples to illustrate their point: the International Classification of Diseases, the Nursing Interventions Classifications, the South African race classification under apartheid, and others.

The book explores the role classification plays in mega infrastructures, the relationship between classification and biography, and classification in professional settings. It further explores the effects of classification on society, politics, and economy.

LANDMARK BOOKS IN SCIENCE, TECH, AND SOCIETY

We Have Never Been Modern
Bruno Latour

Bruno Latour is also the author of Science in Action, a significant book on science, technology and how they intertwine out of the 1980’s. The basic premise was when you follow scientists and engineers you could see how science, technology, and society produce each other in a continuing process of refining facts, theories, human actors, and social relations.

This is the actor-network theory, which challenged the established technological and social determinist perspectives (technological advances is responsible for social change, or vice versa). Furthermore, it blurs the dualist separation between human and non-human experience of the world. For example, natural sciences seeks to understand the world independent of human perception of it.

The question being if nature and society are coproduced, who was there first the world or humans? In We Have Never Been Modern, Latour introduce some intriguing concepts about time, imagination, and society.

The Social Construction of What?
Ian Hacking

A brilliant book about the philosophy and history of science. Hacking discuss and dismantle the Science Wars, or the so-called Culture Wars. The book is a serious read that challenge the reader to think about controversial topics. It summarizes the meaning of social construction in a series of questions that attacks the nature of scientific facts:

  • How nominalism change our perspective on science, technology and society?
  • Are scientific facts a creation of language? Does words determine scientific facts?
  • Has historical contingency anything to do with science?
  • What is the relation between scientific facts and history? If history was different, would the scientific facts change with it?
  • Does stability has hand in it?
  • Are scientific facts reflective of reality or what political\social powers want them to be?

The answers to these questions can’t be ignored, and that’s the core of The Social Construction of What?

Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life
Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer

In this book, the authors dare to break out of the conventional confinement of the history of science. It is a book that represent an “exercise in the sociology of scientific knowledge.” Shapin and Schaffer craftily discuss the implications of the history of science debate between Hobbes and Boyle. They use their results to provide a sensible explanation of the experimental enterprise. They find that despite not being philosophical by nature, philosophy is a substantial part of it.

Without a doubt, it’s one of the most important books ever written about the subject of the history of science. Furthermore, the book assert that you can’t simply cut out science of its societal context.

NEWER WORKS IN STS

The Golem: What You Should Know about Science
Harry M. Collins and Trevor Pinch

The Golem series was quite the success when it’s first published. Obviously, the first volume was the most important in the series.

In the book, the authors associate the Golem with science. What is the Golem? It is a creature borrowed from Jewish mythology. It’s ugly but not evil. The Golem is powerful but not dangerous, it is just clumsy.

The second volume was dedicated to technology. Following the same trail of the first case study, the authors demonstrate that everything wrong with technology is the result of faulty science. The two volumes complement each other.

Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life
Theodore M. Porter

A heavyweight investigative work that explores how the cultural meanings of objectivity evolved over the last two hundred years. How quantitative methods gained such appeal in the modern world? The typical answer is that quantification helped in the study of nature. But the author disagrees.

He argues that studying human societies isn’t the same as studying atoms, stars, and cells. Apparently, he encourages the reader to look in the opposite direction. Understanding the allure of quantification in social sciences will help shed light on the role it plays in natural sciences. The book gives many examples.

Objectivity
Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison

This book displays the advent of objectivity in the mid-nineteenth-century sciences, as documented on the pages of scientific atlases. A narrative of how haughty epistemic notions blend with workaday activities. The history of objectivity is not void of surprises. In the book, the authors reveal how misunderstood objectivity was ad still is.

Other notable STS books include:

Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life by Kaushik Sunder Rajan

Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies by Bruno Latour

Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity by Ulrich Beck