Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Annotated Working Draft of Final Project and Hotspots in Biochemistry

Component Assignments:

  1. Communication and Persuasion in Biochemistry
    In this post, I explained the common lack of enthusiasm for chemistry and biochemistry among the majority of people.  I also explained my own struggles to break into the chemical field because of the new vocabulary. 
  2. Storytelling in Biochemistry
    I demonstrated the gap between discovering new technology or breakthroughs and the application of these new discoveries.  Though scientists are on a constant quest for greater knowledge, they are also very skeptical and sometimes slow to accept change.  I sought to inspire those in the field to quickly confirm and accept or disprove and reject new theories. 
    1. Biochemistry within the History of Civilization
      Biochemistry is a very new field relative to the sciences, but chemistry has its roots as far back as humans can remember.  In an interview with a BYU chemistry professor, I found out that the goal of biochemists is to discover exactly how everything works in the human body and how to positively manipulate it.    
    2. Institutional Authority and Communication in Biochemistry
      While writing this, I learned how organizations like the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) regulate the chemical field.  With frequent journals, annual conferences and the power of funding distribution in their hands, this organization and others regulate and influence biochemist across the country.  
    Hot Spots
    • Hotspot #1 (personal): Making chemistry language more accessible.  In my education, I have had a difficult time trying to understand and contribute when I am barely learning the jargon.  Other people are similarly intimidated, especially outside of the field, and they feel alienated and become suspicious of chemistry.
    • Hotspot #2 (field/personal/historical): Drawing upon the example of Leeuwenhoek who discovered the first bacteria, but was a draper by trade, the biochemistry field needs to be prepared to allow for "amateur" scientists.  New technology (like organic material 3D printers) are becoming cheaper.  Our field needs to have the infrastructure to keep up.
    • Hotspot #3 (field): With the advent of "amateur" scientists, chemistry regulatory agencies need to come out of the dark.  Of course, the agencies will have to monitor scientists, but they should also offer grants and scholarships in order to maintain a positive image.  


    1. I am really interested in your first hotspot - the personal hotspot. Probably because I am one of those "outsiders" who shies away from chemistry because I don't feel like it can be explained in a relatable way to me. I think it would be interesting to learn more or read more of your paper as you explore how to make the language more widely accessible.

    2. I like how all of your hot spots have a common theme of amateur. They all seem to be able to flow right into each other. This will make a great base for your paper.