Female Domination and Coding for Kids: Books in Brief
Beyond the hype
Fiona Fox Elliott and Thompson (2022)
It’s been 20 years since journalist Fiona Fox set up the influential Science Media Center in London, to persuade more scientists to engage with the media. This captivating and detailed book is her memoir of that period – not, as she clearly states, an “objective account”. Separate chapters deal with controversies such as ‘Climategate’, ‘Frankenfoods’, the politicization of science, sexism in research and how the current pandemic embodies an ‘age-old dichotomy’ between the need for simple public messaging and complexity. disorder of science.
Lucy Cooke Double day (2022)
“Try to explain the need to be passive” to a female spotted hyena (crocuta crocuta), writes zoologist and author Lucy Cooke, “and she’ll laugh in your face, after biting her.” She is dominant in rough play, scent marking, and territorial defense. By analyzing many animals, this bubbly attack on scientific sexism relies on many scientists – of multiple sexes – to correct stereotypes of the active male versus the passive female. Many of these concepts were initiated by Charles Darwin, who is Cooke’s “scientific idol”.
Marina Umaschi Bers MIT Press (2022)
Early childhood technologist Marina Bers developed the KIBO robot, which young children can program with colorful, barcoded wooden blocks to learn computer coding. He’s the main character in his captivating book, which outlines four main ways to think about coding for kids: as a “playground”; “another language”; a “pallet of virtues”; and a “bridge”. The palette includes integrating ethics and moral education into programming. Bridging is all about finding points of connection between various cultural, ethnic and religious groups.
Robert A. Jacobs Yale University. Hurry (2022)
The Japanese word hibakusha originally described the victims of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. Since the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 2011, the term has been widely extended to refer to worldwide victims of radiation exposure. However, it does not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary: proof that “these ‘global hibakusha’ have been largely invisible to us”, due to their relative political insignificance, notes Hiroshima-based historian Robert Jacobs in this all-important analysis of the Cold War.
Journey with the Trilobites
Andy Dry Columbia University. Hurry (2022)
The fascinating marine invertebrate known as the trilobite belongs to the beginning of complex animal life. It appeared around 521 million years ago and lasted over 250 million years, evolving over 25,000 recognized species. Paleontologist Andy Secher co-edits the trilobite website for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It has over 4,000 trilobite fossils, many of which are depicted in this hymn to the “ubiquitous monarchs of the ancient seas of the world”.
The author declares no competing financial interests.