Sunday Science: Cheerleaders and Princess Leia

One of my major lines of thought of late is the importance of the distinction between ‘science’ (which I think of in three ways: a collection of methods, a body of knowledge and an approach to thinking) and ‘scientists’. Taken as a whole, science appears to be a grinding, faceless monolith, spitting out breakthroughs and results. At a human level: cheerleaders and covers of David Bowie and Queen. Wait, what?

How awesome are both of those crews? Breaking down stereotypes and having fun while they’re at it. And by the looks of things, most of them are more qualified at science than I am!

Today’s a short, snappy Sunday Science (at least it’s actually on Sunday this time), but expect more from me on this: it can be hard to mentally separate how science is done – by people – with what it produces, which is often sterile and dehumanised. I think that’s a factor playing into many anti-science viewpoints. But enough of that… here’s a News in Brief writeup I did in the style of The Mirror (a UK newspaper) for a course assignment.

HOLOGRAMS, like those used to communicate in Star Wars, are no longer confined to science fiction.

Scientists at the University of Arizona have unveiled a new screen which projects a moving 3D image. The image is visible without special glasses and changes perspective as the viewer moves around.

The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature, may be applied in medicine, advertising or holographic tele-communication.

All that’s needed is a fast internet connection, suitable cameras and the holographic projector. The researchers claim that smooth, coloured holograms could be available in the near future.

Personally, I think Skype might be just a little bit too real in 10 years!

Categories: Science, Things people do, Videos | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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