Monday, March 30, 2015

The week behind, the weeks to come

Last week was Spring Break for the entire county. We went up to Indiana to spend time with the grandparents.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the world's largest children's museum, full of "Please touch" exhibits and hands-on activities, including science. Two of our favorite exhibits this visit were:

We also, as usual, made a stop through the Power of Children exhibit, which I'll write about another time.

That also put us boots-on-the-ground when Indiana passed the so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act." There's still considerable activity about it on my Facebook feed, from our Indiana friends and relatives. Today's post would get too long if I started on that subject now.

Also, since I brought it up last Friday, the jury ruled against Ellen Pao on all counts.

For this week, I want to discuss a topic that came up on Twitter, and is near and dear to my heart. Dr. D.N. Lee (@DNLee5) is a Scientific American blogger and person I follow on Twitter, for diversity-in-STEM advocacy. I am working on a series of posts about this. Below the cut, I share links to other posts and some of the discussions that have taken place.

On Thursday, she began a conversation on Mars settlement and Manifest Destiny. Dr. Lee recommended this OtherSociologist Tumblr post (Rethinking the Narrative of Mars Colonisation) as one's entry into the discussion. Additional resources:
Because this topic connects so closely to my work as an engineer previously on contract to NASA, my community of space enthusiasts, and my M.A. in Humanities focused on Space & Exploration Studies, I am mapping out a series of posts for the rest of this week.

Based on Karen James' thread, I'm going to try and start this from a white person's 101 level, assuming that I am talking to predominantly white space enthusiasts (perhaps similar to me when I started that graduate degree), and some of the things that helped me on my journey.

I'm developing my plan discuss the history of globalization & colonialism, race as a social construct, my own conceptual baggage, more of the lessons learned & textbooks on critical race theory / social change from my M.A., what I got out of Homer Hickam's books (the first one inspired the movie October Sky), my observations from 7 years living in Huntsville, AL... (While I have briefly exchanged tweets with Mr. Hickam on Twitter, I have not met him in person yet.)