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Give Me an S! Give Me a C! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

logoChemical and Engineering News may have a narrow audience, but long time JREF friend (she's never missed a TAM!)  and educator Sachie brings this cheery article to our attention.

From the article:

Darlene Cavalier, a Pennsylvania mother of four, a former business developer for Walt Disney Publishing Worldwide, and a onetime cheerleader for the Philadelphia 76ers, is a vociferous fan of science and, with her slam-dunk smile and enthusiasm, is adding a literal verve to the idea of science cheerleading.
Courtesy of Darlene Cavalier

This past April, Cavalier launched SCIENCECHEERLEADER.COM. "I don't want to just preach to the choir," she tells C&EN, referring to the tendency for the science-interested among us to speechify. One of Cavalier's aims is to move the masses to become citizen scientists.

Darlene's message (endorsed by Penn & Teller) is simple: science is for everyone. And that's part of the JREF's message as well. "Skepticism" is simply another word for applied science. Science is the method by which we gain knowledge in as unbiased a manner as possible. Everyone can use it, everyone needs it, but too many people associate science with "boring" text books and lengthy math problems.

If the problem is simply a matter of branding, Darlene is on the right path to bring the benefits of science into more peoples lives. Her posts include such topics as science policy, inventing, and Barbie dolls.

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Pity about the name, but...
written by BillyJoe, March 04, 2009


I think she's going to find it difficult to keep me concentrating on the science.

smilies/grin.gif

BJ
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written by BillyJoe, March 04, 2009
Sorry, that was very sexist of me...

...but nevertheless true. smilies/wink.gif

Oh my, I'm off to bed now.

BJ
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written by AndyD, March 04, 2009
Oops! From the title I thought this was going to be about John "I hear a J" Edward.
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written by advancedGIR, March 04, 2009
Well, although I applause at the idea of bringing rational thinking to the largest possible audience, all the example of crowd involvment in science/politics issues I can think of tend to go on the side of the most irrational choices. A crowd never thinks, at best it can feel, but usually it just freaks out and illustrates our most despitable instincs.
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written by advancedGIR, March 04, 2009
Reading her bio, I couldn't help telling myself what a wonderfull education system you have in the USA, where one can major in cheerleading!
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written by DrMatt, March 04, 2009
I sometimes use my music in this way... and, as I learned on a recent trip to Seattle, apparently I've gotten a reputation for doing so. But some of my music is just fun to hear. And if I think Darlene is also just fun to look at... so, sue me or something!
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written by skyhand, March 04, 2009
I was a jr. high science teacher and the girls were the best students. It wasn't cool for them to show that they liked science. Maybe with her interest in science more girls will go into science as a career.
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written by BillyJoe, March 04, 2009
...maybe more boys will go into science as a career!

Oh, we're bad. smilies/grin.gif

BJ
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written by bosshog, March 05, 2009
I'm trying my best not to be petty here.
The site seems pretty straightforward for the most part. However, the Barbie article was offensive to me because I have always detested the whole idea of Barbie and the conception of women as meat puppets that it is predicated on (who is aware that Barbie originated in the 50's as a copy of a German sex toy for men? see http://www.honors.umd.edu/HONR.../wolf.html). Cheerleading itself is another facet of that whole "women exist to be sexy enablers for men's aspirations" kinda mind set.
But I'm being petty.
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written by Careyp74, March 05, 2009
Bosshog, sounds like your view on cheerleading is from the 50's too. With the growing attention to the competitions in movies and on TV, Cheerleading has become as big a sport as volleyball, and will probably be more popular than lacrosse and soccer in the future. (nothing will ever beat baseball and football)

AdvancedGIR, I don't think the point of the website is to fill the street with a crowd of people to decide the future of science, maybe it is just trying to get the mainstream public interested, individually, in the comfort of their own homes.
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written by BillyJoe, March 05, 2009
I dunno, bosshog, if women see themselves as sex toys who are we to argue. smilies/cool.gif

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written by bosshog, March 06, 2009
BillyJoe:
I have a fourteen year old daughter whom I am encouraging to be strong, independent, self-respecting and thoughtful. I detest the cultural influences that make my job (and her life) more difficult.

CareyP74:
I don't know anything about competition cheerleading. I myself do not put much value on recreational competition anyway whether it be cheerleading or football or whatever. I maintain however that in most cases even today, cheerleaders are young women whose only role is to boost the young men's sense of virility and heighten their aggressiveness by flashing their junk at them. If football is a ritualized form of war as has been suggested then cheerleaders are ritualized camp-followers. They serve a merely supporting role in the men's efforts and do so with their sexuality, the message being that a woman's sex is the best thing she has to offer.
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written by pxatkins, March 06, 2009
I didn't think you were being petty, bosshog. Well said.
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bosshog
written by BillyJoe, March 06, 2009
BillyJoe:
I have a fourteen year old daughter whom I am encouraging to be strong, independent, self-respecting and thoughtful. I detest the cultural influences that make my job (and her life) more difficult.

"Detest" is such a negative though. There it is, it's part of life, live with it, is my motto. I have 13 and 20 year old daughters, so I do sympathise. But all types make up the world. I have no problem with anyone who finds a niche where they are happy and make others happy, no matter what that niche is. Some women are very sexual, have great bodies, love to display them, and and love to be looked at. Others are interesting because of their intellectual assets (and there are many on the forums). Some combine the two (one person on the forums comes immediately to mind, but I'm not telling).
I know a bookish librarian who works in a brothel in her spare time not because of the money, though that's pretty good apparently, but because she is drawn to it (well, I didn't believe it at first either).
Provided there is no harm, bring it on I say. Life would be boring if everyone was the same. I hope my daughters (and sons) do exactly what they feel drawn to, not what they feel they should do or what they think others want them to do or not do.

BJ
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