Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When the Mind Movers Visited

I’ve been to the Mind Museum twice in my whole life. During those visits, I was wowed by everything the exhibits had to offer. Though I was not able to watch any demonstrations, the museum tour was still pretty awesome. This time around, the Mind Museum came to our class and it was nothing short of amazing.

I learned so much from the talk, but the one main thing I realized is that people are scared of learning science because of all the difficult terms and hard-to-imagine theories. From what the Mind Movers (the speakers) said, science can be taught in a way that is easy to visualize and understand. All it takes is some creativity for science to look less intimidating. The big terms are just names, as the Mind Movers said; we should put our focus on the gist of how a certain scientific theory works and work our way up from there. Through simple experiments using everyday items, people can learn so much without having to have a degree in science. 

Science is a very wonderful thing and it would be a waste if people won’t try to understand it. This is why teaching science in a simple way is crucial in our society. When people discover that they understand something, they’re going to want to know more. This is the kind of curiosity that we need to see today because this will eventually lead to progress in the human race.

Hannah Dungca

There's A Monster in All of Us

People usually say the story of Frankenstein is scary. The name’s enough to send a chill down the spine. When I watched The Bride of Frankenstein, I began to understand that the story’s scary for a different reason. It’s not because of how horrible the monster looks, but because of how strong the thirst for power is and how far humans would go to achieve that power.

Dr. Frankenstein was able to breathe life into something dead and we can’t help but ask if it’s right or not. Even though many people would say that what the doctor did was morally wrong, we can see how morality does little to stop man in his pursuit of knowledge and authority. This is what science is about; it’s the discovery of things based on what is known to be true and not on what is known to be right (usually). In the end, we could create anything to satisfy our curiosities even if it’s against some morals.

On another note, I think that the monster was made dumb to show that the inventions of humans aren’t perfect. It goes to show that something will always go wrong when people are trying to play God. Another reason why I think the monster was made dumb was so that people wouldn’t understand him and would be scared of him. They would either run away or try to kill him with their pitchforks when all he wanted was someone to see that he really isn’t that bad. If the monster was portrayed as someone who could strike a decent conversation, then the townsfolk wouldn’t have a reason to kill him and would probably even like him. I would like to see that.

Hannah Dungca 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Finding Humanity in Monstrosity

Science revolves around the idea of the unknown: The concept of exploring frontiers that have never before been encountered by other humans. Particularly in its fictionalized versions, the field presents the various endeavours of man in taking nature and manipulating it to create something new, ultimately playing God in the process. The morality of the act and the limits of humans are thus put into question.

Marie Shelley’s Frankenstein and its subsequent adaptations take this a step further by presenting the man-facilitated creation of another human being and the aftermath. Through the character of Doctor Frankenstein, we look at the lengths to which man will go for the purpose of satisfying their ego and discovering, regardless of whether or not others are harmed. As the inventor descends into insanity, we see how limits are completely disregarded and forgotten as he pursues his goal of venturing into the unknown. Furthermore, the story questions what comprises humanity, what makes up a human being. Because of this, the more emotional aspects of science are taken into account.

In adapting the source material, many new versions of the story saw the portrayal of the creation as a dumb creature, a counterpart to the book’s seemingly intelligent monster. Analyzing this decision, I believe that a number of interpretations can be taken into account. One can say that the monster was portrayed this way in order to recognize the fallibility of man and his abilities, and how science and technology can also have their faults. It can also be seen as a way of portraying how man’s desire for superiority is satisfied in the most gruesome of ways. In the end, Frankenstein pushes the reader to take a closer look at science, and to delve for humanity in the chaos that it can create.

Rillo 2013-14388

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mind Over Matter

“Fun” is not usually one of the first adjectives that would come to mind when asked to describe science, but the guests from the Mind Museum who gave us a talk a week ago beg to differ. Referring to themselves as ‘Mind Movers’, these resident scientists work with the Museum in order to achieve the latter’s goal of inspiring the public to delve into and to understand science.

These Mind Movers began their talk with figures showing how Filipinos’ proficiency and interest in science, both within the country and on a worldwide scale have recently been declining. This allowed them to segue into the main gist of their talk, which explained what they did on daily basis in the Museum. Through the use of demonstrations and creativity, the Movers are able to encourage their guests to understand science in an entirely new light, making it particularly easier for them to see how the subject plays into our daily lives. Within the museum, guests are given the opportunity to understand life in terms of the Atom, the Earth, Life, Technology, and the Universe. In this way, science becomes so much more than a theoretical concept discussed in a book or in a lecture. It becomes something to play with, something to tell a story with.

Through the talk, the Movers were able to show us how science is, easily, an intrinsic part of our lives that cannot be avoided. As Carl Sagan once said, it is “more than a body of knowledge; It’s a way of thinking, [...] of skeptically interrogating the universe.” Should we allow ourselves to think critically and to incorporate science into our lives, we allow ourselves to live curiously, and to discover new things about the universe and ourselves everyday.

Rillo 2013-14388

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Curiosity and Some Fun: A Reaction Paper About Mind Museum Talk

Moving Minds to Curiosity was a talk hosted by the “mind movers” from the Mind Museum, a science museum located in Taguig, which was opened in year 2012.  The mind movers started the talk by having a discourse on the goal and endeavors of the institution by showing to us, STS students, statistics of the performance of Filipino students in Science courses, and enumerating to us ways on how this problem will be addressed by the Mind Museum which include: engagement, curiosity, wonder and show. After the background of the museum and the presentation, the mind movers conducted a science demonstration, which they categorized into three parts: with objects from lab, with objects from the house, and without object/with the use of the human body.

            Overall, I think the seminar was good. Giving us a background of the museum and its objectives using statistical data made their presentation more convincing.  Furthermore, the seminar addressed the objective of the talk all through out the duration, which made it smooth flowing and clear. Pertaining to what I can say about the talk, it made me realize that science can be approached in a better and more interesting and more engaging way. By conducting science experiments using household items and human body, organizing science activities for people to participate in to, and creating seminars with interesting topics that will surely catch the attention and engage the curiosity of the people, the Mind Museum was and still is able to address the need of educating people in the field of Science. Most importantly, it made us appreciate science as something that can be fun and not to be intimidated of and as a field not just for science geniuses or science major students but also, for people who are just curious enough in knowing things. As Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.

Erika Joyce de Luna
2010 – 06190

Creative Science Communication by the Mind Museum

Last February 18, people from the Mind Museum called "mind movers" went to our class and gave us a talk regarding creative BUT effective science communication. They showed us several tricks and told us tips on how to teach science in a way that is not at all dull but makes the listener/learner all the more interested. They said that by just using household tools, one would already be able to teach or even learn science. Their example was when they filled the plastic water tank with vaporized alcohol and put flames inside. This made an implosion and the plastic water tank compressed. It was really interesting and shocking that science could do something like that. They also said that even without any tools, one would be able to perform science using the body. They then made us dance/mimic the actions of atoms and molecules of several phases of matter like solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and bose-einstein condensate. It was a really fun activity, and I could only imagine how much funner it is for kids who visit the mind museum. It is truly a unique and enriching experience, and I think their creative science communication helps kids, and even adults, learn science in a totally different way. From now on, I will try to incorporate their creative science communication whenever I teach someone science especially when I teach it to my younger cousins, so that they will have a whole new different perspective of science.

Bea Lejano

The Bride of Frankenstein: A Clash of Science and Morality

I think that The Bride of Frankenstein greatly portrayed science as something that could do and accomplish numerous things, even the impossible. When the scientist made a female version of the monster, I think that this portrayed science as both good and bad. Good in a sense that because of science, the scientist was able to create another invention that could possibly solve one of their greatest problems (making the monster happy and contented so as him not resorting to hurting anyone else). Although this is the case, there was a bad effect as well. When they invented the female version of the monster, they did not really expect that their new experiment would be scared of the monster as well. They were not able to anticipate this. This only shows that science still has its limitations. Also, the question of it being moral or not comes into picture. Is it moral to create another person using the organs and parts of another dead person? Is it moral to use illegal science in order for an experiment to be successful? Is it moral to create another being that could be as evil (depends on whether you see the monster as evil or not) and unnatural as the monster? Well, I think that the limitations of science could be answered by morality. The female version of the monster was not at all human-like because it is very much impossible to create another human being not undergoing the natural process. To relate it to morality, the only entity that could create a living person is God. The female version of the monster did not love or even like the monster back because science can't make someone love another person. All these exhibits the clash of science and morality.

In my opinion, making the monster dumb worked. It conveyed the message that things which aren't supposed to exist but is existing because of using science illegally or wrongly could only turn out into a disaster. What's worse is that you can't really say the monster was all that good. Yes, he sometimes felt pity for other people and he sometimes did not harm some people, but there were more instances wherein he harmed good and innocent people than not. This only goes to show that those experiments which shouldn't have been done are most likely to be a nuisance and a great problem to society.

Bea Lejano

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Moving Minds Toward Science: From the Micro to the Macrocosm

The guest speakers from the Mind Museum have addressed their statement pretty loud and clear. Science is the continuous discovery of nature’s wonders in the known universe fueled by a keen sense of curiosity, a deep thirst for knowledge, and a passion for learning and relearning. It will further progress as man’s inquisitive nature is endlessly in pursuit for the truth with questions boggling his mind and waiting to be answered. Every day, we live and breathe science, only that we so often neglect its presence around us and remain indifferent to the benefits that we have gained from the advancement of it.

I am impressed by the way they elucidated the importance of science and technology in the modern world with such vigor and through simple experiments and witty activities that explained the profound concepts and abstractions that science revolves around. Not only was the talk educational but it was also very entertaining. They have definitely hit the mark in delivering the purpose for their visit which was to spark the flame of curiosity and wonder for science through active engagement. They made science fun and interactive as opposed to the stereotypical boredom of graphs, charts, and formulae that we normally would associate with anything scientific in nature.

What made an impression on me from their talk was that science is not merely a structured body of knowledge that allows us to explain the natural phenomena happening around us every moment. Beyond the textbook definition of science, they described science to be an attitude and a lifestyle and more than just a step by step procedure for one to arrive at a certain conclusion or result from a given set of variables. Science is more than a recipe for a dish or an instruction manual on how to set up a rocket model. No, it is pushing aside your hesitation to ask even the most seemingly mundane and stupid questions, firmly believing that even that tiny bit of information can lead you to finding out the truth. Science is being brave enough to admit that you have little to no familiarity to the world around you and stepping out to explore it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

On Frankenstein

The tale of Frankenstein’s monster as depicted in films and in the novel shows us that man has desperately been trying to unlock the mysteries of the universe and of life and to break the boundaries of man’s limited capacity through advancements in technology and science. Over the past century, technology has indeed progressed at such a rapid pace that we are now able to enjoy the ample benefits of modern machines and instruments to make our daily lives more comfortable and convenient. Knowledge has also grown by leaps and bounds from the time of the Greeks to the present day and now scientists continue to uncover the secrets of the known world and even to delve into the depths of the unknown.

However, in the tale of Frankenstein, we also see morality at play and that we should think about the consequences of our decisions and our actions and consider our own humanity as well whether or not our actions may have a direct result upon the people around us. Is it right for man to play the role of God in taking control over life and death? In my opinion, we have no right to question the authority and power of God as supreme Creator and the Ruler of nature and as history shows, man’s arrogance will be his own undoing just as shown in the story of the Tower of Babel. But this does not mean that science is inherently bad but simply that man needs to settle his intentions and ensure that his motivations of using science are not to play around morality nor to play the role of God because I believe that we are stewards of the earth and of everything that God has created so we must take care of it and that it will not be corrupted.

Furthermore, as we have seen in the film, the monster was made to be dumb which is in contrast to the novel where the monster was eloquent in speech. I believe the message here is that, although science and technology can be used to create innovations that can help us in our everyday lives; there are still flaws and limitations to them, just as man has limitations in his abilities. The film clearly showed the concept that this world, though it holds wonders, has its own imperfections.