Monday, August 19, 2019

One Sentence Research Summaries

Image result for spaceEnvironmental & Science Education
Solar System
Nature of Science
Edward Hessler

Below the fold of the March 3, 2019 edition of the Wall Street Journal is found this headline: "Haikus About Space/Make Science Less Tedious/So Hope Scientists."  It was written by Daniela Hernandez. 

I almost missed it in my haste to get to the editorial/letters/op-ed pages.  Hernandes's article is about a few of the 335 haiku entries submitted as one-sentence summaries researchers are required to include about their work for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston. Hernandez writes that haiku has become "part of a growing use unconventional means to make science more accessible."

This is fodder for a challenge...a quiz, one on which I didn't do so well. Below are three haikus and below them are the answers--the papers/the scientific phenomenon they are describing. Please read, respond and then check your answer. It is up to you to decide how well you did. When you are finished answer whether you decided whether these make science more accessible. Again, you are the evaluator. 

In the event you haven't tried your hand at a haiku recently. The basic formula is that they are 17-syllable poems, which is another way of saying they are short.


a. Look at falling sky/ Rock from big red rock in black/ Sky to find life signs.

b. Sudden wall collapse/Petals of debris lay down/Valley feels deformed.

c. Apollo brought us/History in their gloved hands/Tiny rocky clocks.


b. Erin Kraul. Kutztown University.  Presentation on geomorphic mapping of landslides in Aram Valley, Mars. She won first place and came prepared, writing a haiku for her acceptance speech: Teaching demands an end/to planetary playtime, now/enjoy science for me.

a. Aine O'Brien. Glasgow University. "The Effects of Shock and Raman Laser Irradiation on the Maturity of Organics in Martian Meteorites."

Image result for mars
c. Barbara Cohen. NASA researcher. Work on lunar samples.

Here is the link to the WSJ article although you have to be subscriber to read it. I'm not. I happened to read a paper copy, an infrequent event.

A science haiku is sometimes referred to as a "sciku."  There is a website for these kinds of haiku.

I like the idea and my guess is that the audience for the haiku forms Hernandez writes about would do much better at describing the content than me. They have another clue, too. The researcher's work may be known to them. In addition, depending on how the program is arranged the session title probably provides another clue.

Sure they make science more accessible if only by making scientists more human. Generally, like most of us, they are also members of the species described as Homo ludens

An idea for Science Fairs to consider.

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