About Me

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I'm an assistant professor of neuroscience at Washington State University in Vancouver, where I use tiny zebrafish (the size of an eyelash!) as a model system to study human hearing loss and how we can prevent it. I'm also a long-time Toastmaster and I teach communication workshops. This blog represents the merging of my two passions - science and communication, which has really become one central passion - the science of communication. There's a revolution in science right now...the idea that we scientists should sometimes leave the lab and talk about what we do, and why we do it, to real people. This blog looks at why we should do this, and how to actually talk about science with non-scientists (and with each other!). Portions of this blog are also featured on Qualia, the AAAS MemberCenter blog site.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Give me an “S”!

Most scientists are more comfortable in a lab coat than a sport coat, let alone a mini-skirt.  Today I want to introduce a group of (mostly) women that promote science to the public with shiny outfits and pom-poms.  Meet the Science Cheerleaders!

Picture courtesy of sciencecheerleader.com
These women are scientists, science educators, health professionals, and scientists-in-training.  Beyond their love of science, they share another common passion - cheerleading!  All are current or former cheerleaders at the college or professional level.  Their mission is to promote science and technology careers for girls, and to help educate the population at large about the important of science and technology in their lives.

As a science communicator, I think this is brilliant! What better way to attract attention to science, and raise girls’ interest in science careers, than with sparkle!  What about you?  Do you think the Science Cheerleaders (or other like them) help science? Why or why not?


  1. Wow. That is friggin' awesome. One of the things I love about this is that it breaks stereotypes. There are these images that permeate society: scientists are awkward dorks with bad fashion sense; cheerleaders are pretty and sexy, but not much between the ears. These women smash those expectations. They show that science and intelligence are sexy. (I mean, we all knew this already, but they're bringing it to the public at large!)

    Thanks for sharing, Alli!

    1. Thanks Todd, glad you like it! I agree that it's great to see women that are both smart and pretty, and to show the public that not all of us scientists are "dorks with bad fashion sense"! I once read about a Dean at a major university (don't remember the details) that wore sparkly body lotion just to be fun while acting as a decisive leader of a major academic unit. We can have it all!