Dear [GAS] Readers: Let’s Do Science

Here at [GAS] we like to highlight the fact that being smart and appreciating pop culture and technology can still be totally hot, as evidenced by the multitude of boom anime babes we’ve featured and frequent Nathan Fillion references. But geeks are also geeky, right? Recently, a commenter on our Facebook page got straight to the point: “LESS BIKINIS, MOAR SCIENCE.” I’ll forgive him his egregious misuse of less/fewer, but only because he was right: geeks like to learn stuff. And we like giving you what you like; [GAS] readers are our favorite people.

Before I stepped out of Office Space and into the perilous abyss that is freelance writing, I was a researcher in an OTC-drug and cosmetics laboratory. (No, we didn’t do any animal testing; the only lab rats we kept were a few brave colleagues and myself.) While the job mostly involved chemistry and physiology, I’m not ever surprised to find myself watching TED talks about quantum physics and getting overly excited about video of solar flares. And, yes, I intentionally performed a few volatile reactions just to liven up the place.

With that in mind, I have an idea. Clearly my interests skew science-ward, which tells me the same is true for many of you. I’d like the opportunity to talk about that sort of thing–if you all are interested. It’s all on the table here. If you want to skip the talk about DNA-based computation or the competing ideas about dark matter’s mysterious properties, speak up.

I’m opening this post to requests.   Would a regular, probably-unsexy column on thinky topics be of interest? And if yes, then what specific subject would you like to know more about? Leave a comment here or email [email protected] with your ideas.


77 Responses to Dear [GAS] Readers: Let’s Do Science

  1. Anything would be cool, maths, computing, physics etc etc. Just remember, whilst we like to hear about cool new advancements it has to be written in a way that appeals to X subject graduates and also those of who aren't masters in that field. 

    The writing on GAS is usually ace though, so I am sure my comment is irrelevant. 

  2. Science is crazy sexy, what are you talking about? I mean, bacteria are out there exchanging genetic material at an incredible rate, and have you seen their pili? Okay. Enough of that. As both a geek and a phd in Biology, I always appreciate a good bit of science. I'm a fan of life science, especially since there is so much of it out there that affects our lives, although I'm interested in expanding into physics to better understand the universe as well.

  3. I like seeing a sexy super hero cosplay as much as the next geek, but I think you said it best: "I’m not ever surprised to find myself watching TED talks about quantum physics and getting overly excited about video of solar flares."  So I agree with Levu; let's get more mathematics and theoretical science in here. 

  4. YES!
    I absolutely love science-y stuff! I'm self-educated (mostly), and I find myself reading things that go way over my head constantly… However, it doesn't stop me from "exploring" until I get the gist. I don't like reading articles that are written at such a "low" level that a second grader could understand it (Yahoo, MSN, etc.), but I get lost at Journal level reading.

    I'm not making any sense here, so I'll leave you with an example… I absolutely LOVE Robert Krulwich's Krulwich Wonders blog (and Radiolab, and pretty much anything the guy is associated with!). I think he does a great job of taking big, complicated subjects and making them understandable while also providing the sources of the information. So yeah.

    I love the pretty girls (women?) as much as the next person, and don't want to see them gone… But more science would be excellent!

  5. I agree, a little actual science would be nice, i'd also like to see a bit of a mix. I love physics and all things space but a mix of the other sciences keeps things interesting for everyone! 

  6. Sounds good as long as it is presented without controversy.  I am an uber geek that teaches & tutors High School Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science, and have been programming computers since punch cards.  There are a lot of areas of science today that have taken on political meaning, especially in how opposing viewpoints are presented.  As long as GaS presents the facts without the additional commentary that other viewpoints are stupid, then I'm all for it…

  7. At the risk of voicing a dissension from what appears to be common consent, I like the mix you have now. It is what drew me to your blog in the first place. . .
    That being said, you should do what you love, and not what the public dictates. I concur with Tom. I don't expect a significant departure from the style in which you have built this site to what it is, so I cheer you on!

  8. Being sexy isn't just about hot women or hot men.   Being sexy can also be in the form-factor of a high end computer, or in a car that breaks the sound barrier without using petrol.  Being sexy can be a satellite that reaches the outer end of our solar system or a nanobot that destroys cholesterol.  It's not that there needs to be less sexy and more science, its that there needs to be less T&A and more actual sexy. 

  9. I'd be down for it. I'm not particularly scientific, but I like learning about general principles/theories.

  10. I also love science, or rather finding articles that explain new complex studies in a way that my feeble brain can understand, and absorb.
    I would disagree with less bikinis, but more science is never a bad thing.
    I do surf wired science as well as other sources when there is a genuinely new discovery that expands on cosmology, and quantum physics. Microbiology continues to make new discoveries that we're usually slow to acquire.
    True geeks should always love science.        

  11. I think it would be a great idea to have a 'science-only' column. I would be greatly interested in anything on neuroprosthetics or anything in the realm of neurobiological advances.

  12. My vote is to keep a balance between the "fun" things and the awesome "thinky" subjects.  Don't ignore either in favor of one.

  13. I am a computer geek by nature, I love science, physics, etc. I am a Male and like the open forum. If I want to learn only about computers I have a million resources on line to keep me content. If I solely depend on you for subject matter of my interest, then I am truly not a geek. So I say a little randomness is a good thing…unless your attempting to predict the weather! And yes show MORE bikinis haha!

  14. That would be great, although I certainly don't mind the bikini babes. How about more of both? :D

  15. I am a DIY'r, a Jack of all trades.  I'd like to see some articles about things you can do/make in your own home or backyard that are useful, and DON'T require a degree in rocket science.

  16. I agree with @d6a01c1eba81ac79939cefed0b14f4b1:disqus–science sans politics would be lovely. I love this site, but it is getting a bit heavy on the cosplay lately. "Thinky topics" are always sexy in my book.

  17. Abso-freaking-lutely!!! More science!! And any branch of science would do… math, physics, computing, whatever!!

    One thing that would be cool would be to take a philosophical slant and look not only at the latest and greatest new concepts & theories, but also to engage the ethical quandaries some scientific advances bring about. Like the debate around stem cell research, etc.

  18. I personally would love to see more direct science articles on the site, far more interesting than girls in bikinis. Generally I'm a fan of any kinds of more inventive or obscure science though I have to say my main interests lie in particle physics. Perhaps something about black hole manipulation?

  19. I think something about economics (in the sense of theoretical approach towards events of considerable economical impact) might be interesting…in fact, the combination of mathematics and psychology could be more appealing to non-economists geeks.

    Just my 2 cents….and, btw, thank you for asking!

  20. What about a scheduled (Daily, bidaily, weekly, or biweekly) post explaining an ultra-cool science concept in simple terms. I know I always love to learn about new things through the people at TED or RSAOrg or Wikipedia, so why not bring the fun here?
    Suggested Concepts: Basics of Quantum Physics, String Theory,  Electricity, Computer Processors, Solar Panels, Nuclear Fusion/Fission

  21. The title of this blog is "Geeks are Sexy" – so should that be what this is about? We have a definition of Geeky; essentially obscurity in tastes. But everyone has different definitions of Sexy…

    I've personally really enjoyed the content being put out by this blog, it provided a nice balance between geeky and sexy.

  22. You are all too awesome. I just want to note that adding this column won't detract from the regular content–there's no way we would replace cosplay with string theory. You'll still get both. I just don't want to expend a ton of energy writing posts that bomb; so now that I know you're down, I'll get on it.

    Thank you, also, to those of you who emailed. Any topic suggested by a reader will include a hat-tip at the end of the post. :)

  23. I love your approachable and fun (sexy) style of talking all things geeky, so I'm goping for help. I've always been interested in discovering new and fun ways of teaching math and physics to the "I'm not a math person" people and making it so fun for them they would have no choice but to fall in love with the subjects. This has the power to tranform lives, but it's not until people grow up without the skills that they finally miss them. I'd like to be able to engage people at earlier ages, say 8-18. By the way, I'm a heavy user of a bunch of Wolfram tools with Mathematica at heart of them all, and I totally do not believe that anyone should be taught any computational mathematics anymore, unless they develop a personal interest in factoring, rationalizing and simplification. It's all about solving real problems and being able to understand the meaning behind answers, so that getting -56mph as the speed of a caterpillar would strike people as odd, and not just be dismissed as "must be right because I plugged all the right numbers in all the right formulas."

  24. Yes!  Physics, that subject never gets old.  Or biology, or chemistry, or super-cool math (what am I saying, all math is super-cool).

  25. But other viewpoints ARE stupid! :-) The whole reason for science is to prove others are stupid. :-)))) j/k

    • I see you're joking, but what you say is true: science HAS to be a douchebag and filter out what doesn't belong to science, even if sometimes, something with the right to be considered science gets filtered out in the process… well that's less dangerous than the opposite case in wich a BS is mistakenly assumed right. In a few words, science is about "with the given base, this is the subset of right statement we can tell, but not all of them. If you want your idea to be part of this subset, you have to struggle alot and be REALLY sure"

  26. Biology, especially genetics, fascinate me. I was pretty much useless in my high school math classes (and mostly terrible with psychics and chemistry because we had to use a lot of math) because I have dyscalculia, but I still enjoy reading about those subjects as long as I don't have to solve any equations. ^_^;;

    BUT–I'm mostly a culture nerd, and any anthropological or archeological information you happen to come across would be amazing. I just earned my bachelors degree in multicultural studies, but there's still so much more out there to learn…

  27. How about a "random theory per day" with a weekly theme? So that within each week, you have a geek-topic of the week, and once a day you post a short random fact or scientific theory to do with that topic, and a link to read more?

  28. I'd like to see stuff like, supergeeky things becoming mainstream, discussions about how something that was once the equivalent of the pocket protector is now normal and even cool. Or, on the flip side, the science behind everyday things, or simple scieney ways we could modify everyday things to be better.

  29. I'd love to see more science.  I'm just finishing my physics masters (viva tomorrow then FREEDOM!!!) and am starting my PhD in October and always love learning about new things (hence the masters and PhD :D).

    You've probably got hundreds of experts in different fields who read GAS, why not ask if anyone wants to contribute?  Summarise their research in 200 words type thing.

  30. As much as I do like the little geeky things around the internet that make their way here, I would love more articles/columns on the major sciences.  Maybe we could include a sort of "Best of" article for each year in the best hardware/software that has been released.

  31. Also, who says we can't have both?  I'm sort of surprised I haven't seen an essay about quasars or theoretical math presented by a bikini clad Leia on GAS yet.

  32. Let's not abandon the bikinis :) — Would love, love, love to see more science as well. (Don't forget to appreciate bacteria – it's the only culture some people have! )

  33. I'm good with just about any interesting science, or pseudoscience, but please don't leave me hanging with Fillion or Anime babes, did you know that Morgan Freeman is narrating a show on the Science Channel?

  34. Sexy and science don't have to be mutually exclusive. But, regardless, I think a science column, whatever the subject, would be very interesting.

  35. Can we get girls in bikinis teaching us some sexy science? As far as topic goes, things that are on the cutting edge from any discipline would be welcome.

  36. I all for more science!  Physics, astrophysics, astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, biology, genetics, geology, engineering of any kind…  It's all good!

  37. I love what you do now, but I would love to see an extra article or two here and there that was more science related. Especially if said article happened to be about some cool technological advances dealing with current world issues.

  38. How on earth would that be un-sexy?  Intelligence is the sexiest quality found in a person.  Yes to science posts! 

    As to what  we want posts about?  Um… anything and everything!  Maybe start with series posts or something.  The first is a brief introduction to a topic, the second is becoming more in-depth, and the third interviews an expert (when available–professors count).  That's be sweet.  Then we could help you guys out too, both in finding experts and in steering the conversation.

  39. What about natural language processing? Sounds cool right? =D Stuff about interactions between computer and human ''natural'' languages!

  40. What about natural language processing? Sounds cool right? =D Stuff about interactions between computer and human ”natural” languages!

  41. Strange, why would the page be called "Geeks are sexy" if they didn't throw in something for the "sexy" part? Sure there are plenty of interesting geeky facts that make people say "wow". But don't complain about the page having "sexy" anything. Thats the point of being called "Geeks are sexy." It's not "Geek stuff" is it? If all you want is information, or informational videos, all without a bikini-clad girl making stuff explode, make a page for just geek stuff, without the girls. I for one believe [GAS] should continue with what it's doing, bikinis and all. To hell with the rest.

  42. Does this count for outdoors sciences, too? I like all the brainy stuff, but nothing makes me happier than learning better methods of green survivalism. For instance, flexible adhesive PV panels for the top of your van or RV, water distillation and reclamation and LED gardening. *SQUEE*

  43. The 'bikini' level is fine. 

    I check in everyday. Now that I think about it pop-culture type things are what I gravitate to. More science stuff would definitely be cool.

  44. Me too, i check in every day, and while i think that chick cosplay is a good way to start the day, i would definitely love to read about serious stuff (you know, the kind of article with references…)
    BUT, i'm the kind of a graduated guy that was twice as nerd as his classmates at college, and i think that the real [geeks]/[people that just fake it for fashion] ratio would be 1/5… clearly those who fake are geeks in the measure that they can read/post/comment about a pokemon shirt and not about genetic programming…
    So, just try: i hope you succeed.

  45. Re: "less" vs "fewer". I believe the facebook commenter was using the correct term.

    We want to see the same NUMBER of bikinis just with less total volume of bikini material.

    And then more Science, they are not mutually exclusive.

  46. I get my science from all over the place. I love GAS because it's a cool way for me to introduce it to the kids – it has humour and a style of writing that is "real world" enough for lay people to understand.

    Introducing new techs and science in a broad and funny way is where GAS fills a GAP.

  47. I like GAS just the way it is!  If you take away the WAY cool cosplay pics/vids (I like Power Girl, too), you'd have to change the site's name to "Geeks are Geeky".  This site is unique, and I see things here that I don't see anywhere else.  I am interested in things more scientific, but I go to other websites for that type of material.  I probably would never have seen "Roll a D6" at all if it weren't for GAS.  PLEASE don't succumb to the pressure to do away with the fun stuff this site offers.  Here's casting a vote for MORE bikinis, MORE cosplay, and more sexiness!

  48. I think pretty much anything about (good) science is appreciated and really interesting. Anything from quantum physics to cellular biology to technological innovations. I find it all really interesting (and pretty damn sexy). 

    Full discloser: I'm a graduate student in cancer/cell biology. I have a huge bias on science-y stuff ;)

  49. No issue with a bit more theoretical and deep academic content, don't see any reason to take it into another section though. Cos Play's not really my thing, but I love the nerdy cakes, and the tech content is sufficient to justify my time distracted from my day job!

  50. I think the general sentiment is "go for it," and I definitely agree. With regards to topic, anything and everything that is science related should go. qdragon1337 of youtube does a weekly science video where he lightly touches on several new developments that occurred in the past week. I say new and recent developments/research/publications and other cool stuff. I think you'll know what I mean, even if this is a bit rambly ^^;

  51. I'd like more science, more sexy geeks, and less Star Wars related paraphernalia.

    I mean Star Wars is not even science fiction. It's just an adventure film with lasers instead of fire guns, and space ships instead of sailing ships and horses. Thanks for asking!

  52. I'd like more science, more sexy geeks, and less Star Wars related paraphernalia.

    I mean Star Wars is not even science fiction. It's just an adventure film with lasers instead of fire guns, and space ships instead of sailing ships and horses. Thanks for asking!

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