Meet some of our favourite scientists and research teams from both the past and present that play a role in making sense of the world around us.
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Thursday 2nd July 2020: #ScienceSpotlight Recap
So far, we have showcased 13 people, teams and projects in our #ScienceSpotlight, including researchers, life scientists, engineers, mathematicians, STEM policy experts, science communicators, activists and advocates.
The science community should be a place where everyone is welcome and everyone can bring their unique skills, experiences and ideas to the table. We hope that these teams of hard-working people have inspired you to get involved in science, whether that is at school, on your daily walk, when you watch the news or even as a career!
We are taking a little break from #ScienceSpotlight over the summer, so we put together this little recap of the amazing science stories we have told so far. Which was your favourite? Are there any scientists or cool projects that you have found that we might want to showcase next time?
Thursday 25th June 2020: Sylvia Earle
Sylvia Earle is a marine biologist, explorer and ocean conservationist. She loves to explore the ocean and has led over 100 marine expeditions and logged over 6,500 hours underwater.
She broke lots of barriers for women in science and therefore achieved a lot of amazing firsts:
- She led the first all-female team of aquanauts as part of the Tektite missions. Spending 2 weeks living in an underwater laboratory, carrying out ecological surveys of coral reefs.
- She was the first person to walk untethered on the seafloor deeper than 1250ft – a record depth that still stands today!
- She was the first woman to become lead scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- Named Time magazine’s first Hero for the Planet.
She is a National Geographic explorer in residence, was a science consultant to protect wildlife after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has written many books, appeared in countless documentaries and has spoken at the United Nations.
She holds many awards and also honorary doctorates from many universities including the University of Edinburgh.
She is a strong advocate for protecting the ocean and its wildlife and knows that in order to do this people need to be made aware of what is happening and care about what is happening. This drove her to create her own foundation, Mission Blue, which aims to “ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas.” The foundation creates ‘Hope Spots’ which are areas that are in good shape but under threat. Action is then taken to protect them which leads to recovery and therefore also hope.
Earle says, “Nothing else will matter if we fail to protect the ocean. Our fate and the ocean’s are one.”
To find out more about Sylvia Earle and her work you can watch a documentary about her here https://www.netflix.com/title/70308278
You can find out more about her foundation, Mission Blue, here https://mission-blue.org/
View Spotlight Card
Thursday 18th June 2020: Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
The best way to tackle the issues facing our planet is to listen to a diversity of voices and work together to find solutions.
Like many people and organisations, we have been thinking recently about inequality in science, and society as a whole. An unjust society hinders our progress in many ways, including towards a more sustainable future. Today's #sciencespotlight is Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist from Brooklyn, New York.
Thursday 11th June 2020: Design Time
Today’s #ScienceSpotlight is the ATLAS* Project! A huge marine science research project involving people from across the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada, all working together to discover more about the deep Atlantic Ocean, what creatures live there and how we can protect it in the face of a changing planet.
The scientists use incredible technology to explore the deep-sea up to 2000m below the surface. Follow this link to have a go at our #Lego Challenge. What can you build to help explore the ocean? A huge research ship? A cool robot? A submarine? We’d love to see your creations!
Thursday 4th June 2020: Margaret Hamilton
There may have only been 12 astronauts who actually walked on the moon, but it took 400,000 people employed by the NASA Apollo program to make this historic achievement possible.
Margaret Hamilton and her team were the programmers who wrote the code for the spaceships. All of the code was handwritten, and there was so much of it that the pile of code was the same height as she was!
Read on to discover more
Thursday 28th May 2020: Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson was an ecologist and is credited with sparking the environmental movement in the 1960s. She wrote a book called ‘Silent Spring’ challenging the American Government about their use of dangerous pesticides, which killed wildlife. Rachel Carson worked with teams of scientists to uncover evidence showing that the pesticide being sprayed on America’s fields and farmland, DDT, was affecting the ability of birds to lay eggs, threatening their chances of survival. Eventually the use of DDT was banned, thanks in part to Rachel Carson’s work. After this, more people started thinking about the effects of human action on the planet and continue to do so today. Rachel was a great believer that if we all stop to learn about and appreciate the beauty of nature, we will all try harder to protect it! View more
For more information about Rachel Carson’s life and work, go to: https://rachelcarson.org/
Thursday 21st May 2020: Antarctica Activity
This week we are showcasing The British Antarctic Survey on #ScienceSpotlight. The scientists living and working in Antarctica help us to understand the oceans, climate change, weather, remote ecosystems and more! Science carried out both in Antarctica and the Arctic is very important as these are some of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world so any damage caused by Climate Change will be felt here first!
View activity booklet
Thursday 14th May 2020: Williamina Fleming
Did you know that a lot of what we know about the night sky is due to Williamina Fleming's persistent drive to discover and understand the universe. Find out more by clicking here.
Thursday 7th May 2020: Christiana Figueres
Here at Dynamic Earth, discussing the Climate Emergency is very important to us, including how we can all play our part in helping. While our individual behaviour changes are important, also vital is that the world’s governments agree on actions to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global heating. Getting governments to agree is very difficult but one woman in particular has been at the centre of the international negotiations and is often recognised as the leader on global climate change – Christiana Figueres. Click here to learn more about Christiana Figueres and her greatest achivements.
Thursday 30th April 2020: Make your own Siccar Point
For today’s #ScienceSpotlight we are celebrating James Hutton, an Edinburgh-born geologist who is known as the Father of Modern Geology because of his incredible discoveries. Click here to read more about Hutton’s story and have a go at making your own Siccar Point, the location of Hutton’s most notable discovery, out of Play-Doh.
Thursday 23rd April 2020: The Event Horizon Telescope
Back holes are a place where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. They have lots of gravity because there is lots of stuff all squeezed into a small space. The Event Horizon Telescope Project shows the power of collaboration: in 2017, eight telescopes spent a week looking at a black hole to try and take the first picture. By 2019, they finally managed to process all the data and release the image that you can see below. If you want to find out more about the project click here.
Photo Credit: Nasa
Thursday 16th April 2020: Emmy Noether - Mathematician
On Tuesday just past was the 85th year since the sudden death of one of the greatest and tenacious mathematicians: Emmy Noether. Click here to see Emmy Noether's Card and have access to some highlights of her achievements.
Thursday 9th April 2020: James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope is the biggest and most ambitious space observatory ever built. It is made up of incredibly intricate technology that has been worked on by thousands of scientists from all across the world. Your challenge today is to assemble Webb’s intricate mirror. Click here for full instructions and downloadable templates.
Thursday 2nd April 2020: Maria Gordon - Geologist
This week to celebrate Women’s History Month we wanted to shine a spotlight on the geologist Dr Maria Gordon. A truly inspirational scientist! Click here to see Maria Gordon's Card and have access to some highlights of her achievements.