Author Archives: Erin Kelly

Save the Butterflies


Ever since I was a baby, I’ve attracted butterflies. Everyone tells me the story of the time a monarch landed on my face when I was a baby, and I just let it sit there forever. That could explain my love of butterflies, especially with the Monarch. The Monarch butterfly, or Danaus Plexippus, is a fascinating and majestic insect. They begin their life cycle with a process called metamorphosis. This process includes four stages:


The female Monarch will look for a Milkweed plant to lay her egg. There she will lay an egg that is only about 1.2 mm tall! The egg is secure because it can stick to the plant and has a hard exterior that was formed inside of the female. The egg has a hole for the sperm and fertilization. They can stay inside of the egg for 3-8 days.



This stage of the insects life is the stage in which the Monarch eats and eats in order to get ready for the next phase in metamorphosis. The larva has special legs called prolegs that allow them to stick to the leaves it feeds on. The larva feeds on leaves, but it also feeds on the skin that it sheds! The larva with be in this stage for 9-14 days, and within that time, will experience 5 instars (these are the growth periods during molting).



During this stage, the larva creates a CHRYSALIS where they will complete their transformation into an adult butterfly. A chrysalis is different from a cocoon because of the outside. A cocoon is typically spun by a moth, and has a different silky outer shell. The Monarch will spend 8-15 days in this stage. It is spent growing the wings.


The adult Monarch will spend the remainder of its life reproducing. The female will lay her eggs, and the male will fertilize them. There are a few differences between the male and female that help distinguish them.


THE MALE Monarch has thinner veins, and the dots you see in the image (on their lower set of wings) are called hindwing pouches.

THE FEMALE Monarch has thinker veins and a lack of hindwing pouches.


The butterflies that are born later in the summer can live up to  nine months , and are the ones who will make the great migration to warm weather, typically to California or Mexico. This migration is a there and back sort of deal. They only make this round trip once. However, they follow the same path as the Monarchs before them.

Why are they endangered?

Sadly, the beautiful and unique Monarch butterfly is endangered. Many farmers are spraying pesticides that kill the milkweed plants that are crucial to the Monarch’s life cycle. Others suggest that the global climate change is partially responsible for the severe drop in numbers observed in the past years.

What does this mean for the planet?

Butterflies are an important part of our ecosystem. They are pollinators, and also provide food for other insects and animals. It’s easy to see when larger animals such as sharks and tigers are endangered, and their impact on the environment can sometimes be more obvious. Butterflies are so small that they often are forgotten. However, many scientists understand that the disappearance of the Monarch can be an indicator of climate change. They are sensitive to even the most subtle changes in their environment. No, this species doesn’t prompt many questions that require the scientific process, simply because they aren’t that difficult to study. However, their importance to the environment, and subsequent disappearance should bring up the question of global warming, and how we are treating our environment.

image 1 egg photo larva photo pupa photo adult butterfly photo male vs. female monarch


How beneficial are probiotics?


I went to a small college in North Carolina called Warren Wilson where alternative medicine wasn’t all that alternative. There, I was introduced to Kombucha. I actually got to see the live cultures that go into making this powerhouse of a drink, and it was pretty cool. Kombucha is made by fermenting black tea and allowing sugars to feed on it. This creates the live culture, which is home to millions of bacteria. The finished product contains these live cultures and acts as a probiotic along with having certain acids that can help digestion, and stuff like that! There isn’t much out there as far as the scientific method goes for proving these beneficial effects of Kombucha. Most of the “evidence” comes from anecdotes. However, when weighing the benefits against possible negatives (and there aren’t many negatives aside from the weird taste), then I think that giving it a try couldn’t hurt. But how can we tell if this is actually helping, or if its just a fad?

Dr. Axe  writes about 7 specific benefits to drinking Kombucha:

  1. Detox: Kombucha possesses properties that help cleanse the body. Although there hasn’t been extensive research on humans yet, a study on rats showed improvement of kidney-liver function and improvement in hypercholesterolemic conditions.
  2. Digestion: One of the primary uses of Kombucha is to regulate the bacteria in your stomach. It is thought that Kombucha will fill up the space in your stomach with good bacteria, and prevent the buildup of bad bacteria. Probiotic properties are among the benefits of Kombucha drink. These bacteria can also help us digest our food.
  3. Energy: Kombucha also has iron, vitamin B, and small amount of caffeine which work together to energize the body. Iron is able to provide more oxygen in the blood, which results in more engery and ease of blood flow.
  4. Immune Health: The body is filled with what Dr. Axe refers to as free radicals. These are byproducts that float around in our bodies as a result of different reactions that happen on a daily basis. Apparently they aren’t harmful until they become out of balance with the antioxidants found in our bodies. They can hurt your DNA and healthy cells, however, Kombucha has the antioxidant DSL can fight cell damage.
  5. Joint Health: Kombucha possesses elements that help preserve collagen in the joints, and all over the body. This gives joint support, and can prevent wrinkles and skin damage.
  6. Cancer Prevention: Dr. Ax provides some support for Kombucha’s ability to help fight cancer, and there are certainly elements such as the antioxidants and certain acids that couldn’t hurt. However, I couldn’t find any other research that really gave any credit to this statement. It may be a soft end point type of “solution”.
  7. Weight Loss: Again, there isn’t enough evidence to say with any certainty that Kombucha causes weight loss. However, it has ingredients that lend themselves to weight loss in other scenarios, so why wouldn’t it be the same in Kombucha? Acetic acid has been shown to help burn fat, and can be found in Kombucha.

After reading all of this, I realized that perhaps the most significant element in Kombucha (and the most researched) is the probiotic one. Probiotics are live cultures that live within our body. They are beneficial to our health and important in balancing things such as digestion. A lot of probiotic products work to mimic these naturally occurring microorganisms.

An interesting fact that I found was that if probiotics are marketed as a dietary supplement , the do not need FDA approval. 

When I was introduced to probiotics and Kombucha in particular, I was subject to confirmation bias. If the people making and marketing this product said that it was all natural and would help balance my stomach bacteria, I really believed it! I’m not saying that it will definitely work or not, but again I think that the potential benefits outweigh the (almost non-existent) negative effects.


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I was looking for ideas on what to write about in my next blog and I realized that during my CAS class we were talking about how something as simple as smiling for a few seconds can change your whole attitude. I was curious to find out how.

How can a smile change your mood? 

I first found an article that described a study done by Robert Zajonc in which he had a group of individuals and he had some of them make vowel sounds that forced a smile and others made vowel sounds that forced a frown. His research found that smiles produced happy emotions much more than the emotions that the group making frown faces reported. These emotions were measured through a before and after questionnaire. Moreover, the study had huge impacts on this particular type of research because before Zajonc, there hadn’t been a mechanism linked to smiling and happiness. As it turns out, Zajonc was able to find a physiological link. This led to research about other emotions too, and studies showed connections between what your face does, and actual changes in mood, body temperature, and heart rate.

My attempt to explain the mechanism according to Zajonc:

Zajonc proposes that there are a lot veins leading into the face from the main brain vein (sorry about that rhyme…). It has been proposed that warmer temperatures produce negative emotions such as anger or stress, while cooler temperatures produce emotions like calm and happiness. This is important because a smile can activate a constriction of the veins, which would produce cooler temperatures within the body. A frown would act as the opposite, allowing body temperatures to rise. This has to do with the volume of blood around the brain.

This article wisely sums up that while this tactic can improve your mood temporarily, it is not a fix for things like depression and melancholy in general. Those types of processes are much more complex than Zajonc’s hypothesis can fix.

Social Importance of a Smile 

I began to think about how a smile would affect someone else. If you’re smiling, can you improve someone else’s mood? I went searching for information and thought I would find a bunch of sources that described how we as humans like to smile, and like to mimic each other, so we should smile more. Instead, I found an article that explained something called a Duchenne smile and that there are differences in smiling rates for gender. Differences are attributed (in this meta-analysis described) by three things:

  1. Gender Norms
  2. People around us
  3. Culture

The later made me think about all of my research in the context of culture. If smiling is so important to happiness, and there has been a mechanism isolated, what happens if a certain culture frowns upon smiles?


A study coming out of Stanford compared top US leaders to top Chinese leaders. This is an obvious choice when it comes to culture expression differences. Often, Chinese leaders are more reserved and less emotive than US leaders. This has to do with what traits a culture deems important. In the case of the US, we are known to value excitement, whereas Chinese value being calm and reserved.

A study described by the Huffington Post explains that because of some of these cultural differences, it is hard to say that people in the US are “happier” than those in China. This term in and of itself is too vague to really do science at this large of a scale, in my opinion.

This conclusion really made me think of the class where we were talking about if prayer heals. While happiness is a little easier to measure than things as supernatural as prayer, it is still something that science has trouble with. A lot of the research I found had to do with observational studies and self surveys. These can be very valuable tools in science, however, they aren’t as effective as something like a double blind, placebo arm trial that is duplicated over and over again until doubt is something minuscule.

Side note: If smiling has such profound improvements on mood, and mood can enhance concentration and overall functioning, why isn’t this an activity we do all the time? Instead of taking cell phones in class to improve learning, why don’t we just spend time making our minds and bodies feel healthier?

smile face image

Is Coffee Good for You?


So the other day I got into a pretty heated argument with my friend about coffee. He told me that caffeine is unnatural and coffee does nothing but harm your body. I am of the opinion that aside from the obvious fact that it’s delicious, coffee actually can help your body as well. I’m writing this blog in hopes that I can show my friend and prove to him once and for all that there are some things about caffeine and coffee that your body can use for good.

An article from Harvard says that coffee consumption can work in preventative ways against things like Parkinson’s, Type II Diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease. However, I wanted to see some actual data so I went searching.

Can Caffeine really help with Type II Diabetes? 

No, coffee does not directly help with diabetes. However, research has shown that caffeine can enhance the effects of a medication called sodium glucose transporter 2. This drug helps regulate glucose in the body which is important for an individual suffering from diabetes. While this study was not a double blind with placebo arm, the results did show that caffeine enhances this medications success in patients.

There is a mini review that summarizes studies on coffee and type II diabetes which says that the chlorogenic acids and caffeine found in coffee reduces the risk of type II diabetes.

What I found regarding Parkinson’s Disease.

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation describes Parkinson’s disease as a progressive disease in which a person’s neurons will slowly die. These neurons are typically in charge of releasing dopamine into the body. Individuals will suffer from tremors, slowness, loss of balance, and more.

Pubmed is an online database that publishes scientific research for public access. One article that reviews meta-analyses of 26 studies on the issue of caffeine and Parkinson’s disease concludes that according to the statistics, caffeine can have preventative measures on the onset of Parkinson’s disease, and that it is highly unlikely to be due to chance or confounding variables. Its hard to attribute one causal variable to putting off or stopping a disease like Parkinson’s because it has so many other factors like age and genetics. However, meta-analysis with different approaches allow for scientists to rule out confounding variables, and be more sure their conclusions aren’t false positives.

It is interesting, however, that these findings were particularly related to men and not women. However, The American Journal of Epidemiology put out an article that relates the effects of estrogen and caffeine on the Nigrostriatal pathway (one of the primary dopamine pathways in the brain). This finding suggests that further research on caffeine and estrogen, particularly in the cases of Parkinson’s patients, could lend itself towards finding a mechanism for how they are beneficial in protecting these dopamine pathways.


I enjoyed reading about this stuff because I am an avid coffee drinker, however a lot of this research provided a lot of soft end points. The mechanisms aren’t strong. So while I did find a lot of research that was convincing, I can’t go around telling people that coffee is the solution to all health problems in the world. However, I still love it 🙂


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HPV Vaccine. Helpful or Harmful?


What is Human Papillomavirus? 

The National Cancer Institute  defines the Human Papillomaviruses by dividing them into two different types of viruses. These include low-risk strains and high-risk strains. Out of the over 200 different strains of the virus that one could come in contact with, the majority fall into the category of low-risk. However, about twelve fall into the category of high-risk, which is a cancer causing strain of HPV. Typically, HPV causes warts and lumps to grow, which can be benign or malignant. The scariest part of HPV is that you never know what strain you may or may not have, and you’re more likely to get HPV than any other STI (sexually transmitted infection). Not only that, but a lot of the time the high-risk strains of HPV don’t present with any symptoms. The longer a high-risk HPV strain stays in your body, the greater your chance of developing one of these types of cancer:

  1. Cervical Cancer
  2. Anal Cancer
  3. Throat Cancer


HPV Cell Structure

This isn’t a fun topic to talk about, but in the world of college partying, drinking, and bad decisions, it’s important to know all the facts about how common (and devastating) this virus is. Basically, if you’re sexually active, you will most likely come in contact with some strain of HPV within your lifetime. So one would reason that it’s important to do everything to protect yourself against HPV, right?

What is the HPV Vaccine? 

The CDC  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) put out an article for clinicians in which they give more numbers and information about the HPV vaccine. There are three different types of of the vaccine: Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. It is recommended for girls and boys as early as age 11, up through the early twenties. They report that HPV infections in teens has gone down by 56% since 2006, which makes it seem like the drug is effective in doing what it is meant to do.

The CDC ensures that the drug is safe and effective. The listed side effects on the CDC website are:

  • Pain and or redness at the site of injection
  • Fever
  • Headache and tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle or joint pain

They also list three different sources where patients and clinicians can report any problems that are seemingly related to the vaccine, one of them being VAERS. These sites serve to monitor drug use in order to keep the public safe.

So far my research has led me to believe the vaccine is safe. However, when I thought about what a vaccine does, it got me thinking. The vaccine is meant to mimic the virus so that the body can learn to fight it. That way when (if) the real virus was to present itself, the body would be prepared. If the vaccine is made from living things, could that also cause some sort of cancer if it was present in the body? However, since the vaccine is made of ONLY protein it won’t cause the the HPV which in turn causes cancer.

After feeling relieved at finding this information, I still felt skeptical of this vaccine on the grounds that I just couldn’t seem to find any substantial research against it. Finally, I ran into an article discussing The American College of Pediatricians research on the Gardasil vaccine. They report that this vaccine could be causing women (and girls) to experience somewhat of an early menopause. They go on to say that 213 cases have been reported to VAERS (the organization which I mentioned earlier) and that they have reason to believe that Gardasil is the culprit.

This is because of an ingredient called Polysorbate 80. This website linked me to their info on this particular part of the Gardasil vaccine, however I wanted to look elsewhere to make sure I could find more sources to confirm that Polysorbate 80 was causing problems with infertility.

I found a (presumably) blinded experiment by the National Toxicology Program that gave different levels of Polysorbate 80 to mice and rats for different durations. Although the studies couldn’t conclude that the chemical was directly causing cancer, there didn’t seem to be enough evidence to refute that some damage was being done. If the null hypothesis of this study was that Polysorbate 80 does nothing, then these scientists would have failed to reject the null in this case.

My Conclusion:

Today in class we discussed the file drawer issue in scientific research. Has this drugs testing process and research been subject to this issue? The HPV vaccine has been administered legally since 2006. My question is, what are the LONG TERM effects of these drugs? The children who received this drug originally will only be in their twenties or thirties at this point. When we were in class the other day discussing the effects of Thalidomide it made me think of the HPV vaccine because although the CDC assures us that it’s safe, and it has been “safety tested” by the FDA, does that mean that it will be safe in the long run? In the case of Thalidomide, the results were obvious when the mother’s gave birth. Cost benefit analysis comes into play. Are you willing to risk the possible dangers of this relatively new drug in the long run to help fight off cancer (which has been linked to certain strains of HPV that the vaccine fights)? Right now, it seems that there is not enough evidence to risk cancer but only time will tell.

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Should I Neuter my Dog?


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In class we were talking about cost benefit analysis when reading scientific articles, and it made me think of my dog Bleu. He just turned 1, and when we went to the vet for his yearly check up, she recommended that I neuter him. I began to do research because I love him a lot and I wanted to make the very best decision for him. It made sense that I do some cost benefit analysis in this situation. Obviously, there are those who believe in neutering a dog and those who don’t.

First, I’ll explain what I found for pro-neuter. I read two articles (one from the ASPCA and one from Cesar Millan’s website) about the benefits and they seemed to agree on three main points:

  1. Heath Benefits: For a female dog, (by the way, it’s called “spaying” rather than “neutering” when it’s a female dog) spaying can prevent cancer in the uterus and breasts. Neutering can help prevent prostate and testicular cancer in males. The risk of cancer varies between breeds, however, this procedure can significantly lower the chance for any dog if done early enough.
  2. Behavioral Benefits: If a female dog is unspayed, she will eventually start going into heat. During this time period she’s more likely to behave poorly, and it can also get pretty messy in your house. I have a dog Daisy back home (who is the mother to my dog Bleu), who isn’t spayed and we constantly have to be on the lookout for when she’ll go into heat next. A male dog will begin to mature around twelve months. This brings around his desire to mark (pee on) everything and roam in order to assert dominance and find a female to mate with. If neutered early on, he will not have the opportunity to develop these unsavory habits.
  3. Cost Benefits: Yes, it costs a decent amount to spay/neuter your dog (up to 300$ according to this website). However, having a litter of puppies costs way more! I know this from experience, by the way. Not only does it cost a lot more money to care for and send a litter of puppies to the vet, it also is incredibly time consuming. Yes, you can sell the puppies and make back some of (or all of) that money, but it truly is hard (and sometimes disgusting) work.

Most of the cons to spay/neuter came from friends and people who are STRONGLY against it. However, there were only two or three reasons from reputable websites such as this one.

  1. Sterilization: Obviously. If you want your dog to make dog babies, spay/neuter is not for you.
  2. Weight Gain: Some vets and dog behavioralists believe that there will be an occasional dog who gains weight as a result of the surgery.
  3. Cosmetics: This more applies to male dogs. Neutering is removing the testicles of the dog. However, if that truly is an issue you can actually get prosthetic balls made. For your dog.

Most of the people I’ve had conversations with believe that neutering is unnatural and is taking away the manhood of the dog for no reason. A lot of people think that if you neuter a dog, he will become more submissive and have a negative personality change. So far, I haven’t heard or read from any professional that that’s the case. I’ve also heard from people that I should keep in mind the “agenda” of vets and places like the ASPCA. By that, I’m sure they mean the fact that these individuals/organizations are working hard to reduce the population of dogs (and cats). In my opinion, vets and the ASPCA have the best interest of the animals at heart, and are correct in wanting to reduce the population of animals. The more strays there are, the more strays have to be put down in shelters, and are denied good homes. 🙁

The one thing that I was nervous about was the fact that this is a major procedure (despite what some people may think). The animal has to go under anesthesia for about half an hour. Obviously, any procedure like this has risks, and there can always be complications during recovery as well. However, I had extensive conversations with my vet, who assured me that they take every precaution possible in order to keep your pet safe under the knife.

The website from the ASPCA also went into some myth-busting about common misconceptions surrounding neutering. They argue that spay/neuter is not the cause of weight gain in dogs. Rather, the burden falls on the owner to provide proper exercise and not to overfeed their pet. They also discuss how neutering/spaying is not a sure-fire way to get rid of (or cause) changes in behavior. Hormones are a complicated thing, and the older your dog gets the more likely they are to keep learned behaviors, even post-surgery.

I still haven’t completely made up my mind, although I am leaning towards having the procedure for my dog. This is Bleu: 13442147_10209936245591360_2317862718587332198_n


Migraine: Not Your Typical Headache


I’ve been suffering from migraine headaches since I was 14 years old. The first time I had an attack I was in chorus at school and suddenly lost a good part of my vision. I was concerned and started to feel sick so I went to see the school nurse. We didn’t know it was a migraine until I was in the car with my mom a little while later and that weird feeling had progressed into the greatest pain I had ever experienced. A migraine isn’t your average headache, and for those who have never experienced it before, it can be difficult to explain exactly what it feels like. Yes, there is a blinding (literally, blinding), effect that this specific headache has, along with nausea, disorientation, and chills. Not everyone experiences them in the same way. For example, I have what is called migraine with aura. All this means is that the headache has an affect on my ability to see. Of course I wanted to know why this was happening to me, and if there was anything I could do about it. The sad thing for people who suffer from migraines is that there isn’t a whole lot out there that explains where the attacks come from and why (aka the mechanism). There are a few theories that I’ve heard and read about:


  1. Food Triggers (this word “trigger” is common jargon in the migraine world). These include things like red wine, cheese, and chocolate, for example.
  2. Stress. 
  3. Menstruation. It has been speculated (key word: speculated) that migraine headaches could be triggered by hormonal changes in the body. Websites like Migraine Trust  go into more detail about the specific hormones that have been attributed to migraine headaches. Most websites I’ve visited mention something about how it’s way more likely for a woman to suffer a migraine than a man, so maybe science is on the right track in investigating hormonal changes in women.

Of course there are other theories out there about why migraines are caused. MedlinePLus explains how migraines were thought to be caused by constriction of the blood vessels in the brain. Now doctors are looking to genes for an explanation.

Treatment Options

I am fortunate that I don’t have chronic migraines. These people can suffer multiple attacks a week, whereas I usually get one or two a year if I’m lucky. People always tell me to take Advil, eat some food, take a nap, etc. What people fail to realize is that for many people there is no way to ward off a migraine, and your typical “get rid of my headache” methods will DEFINITELY NOT WORK. For me, once I start to lose my vision and feeling in my feet and hands, it’s already too late. Migraine “prevention” has to come from weeks of taking care of my body and hoping that the migraines will stay away.

There is hope though! There are tons of over the counter medications like Excedrin that can help some people with Migraine (not me, unfortunately). If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of migraine specialists out there that you can work with and even be prescribed something a little stronger to help fight off a migraine. I can’t remember the name of the medicine (something with a T?), but I actually got an injection into the stomach one time that dulled the pain a little bit. If I decided to be a doctor or a scientist, I think that I would definitely go into researching migraines. It’s fascinating to me that there is so little information out there, and so far, no cure. 🙁

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Benefits of Singing


I’ve been singing in choir since I was in the second grade. As I got older it became one of my favorite things to do, and something that I now spend a lot of my time working at. I remember a conversation with one of my singing buddies about how great it feels to make music. We realized that not only did we feel mentally accomplished, we also felt happier and physically better as well. Apparently, we weren’t the only people to notice this change. There are hundreds of articles and research projects being centered around the almost euphoric feeling that singing (particularly in a group setting such as a choir) can bring you.

For example, an article by Suzy S. from the takelessons blog goes into detail about physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits that come from singing. She describes a study by the University of Frankfurt that actually tested singers’ blood before and after singing Mozart’s “Requiem”. They found higher levels of proteins and concluded that singing can help the immune system. I especially loved this piece of information because Mozart’s “Requiem” was one of my all time favorites to perform. Suzy also mentions that singing can strengthen your diaphragm (breath control is super important for a singer), improve posture, and even help with sleep.

Singing also produces endorphins and all other kinds of happy chemicals in the brain that can improve your mood. An article from how stuff works science by Julia Layton describes an Australian study where it was found that choral singers were happier in their lives than the rest of the population. Did you know that the Alzheimer’s Society even recommends singing for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia? Suzy S. has a link to their website on her blog. Singing acts as a mental exercise that can improve memory and overall functioning. Reading music takes training just like science or math. It makes sense that it would work your brain like a math puzzle.

here is a cool picture from Pinterest that shows some other benefits of singing.

All of the reasons described above can also apply to solo performances (yes, even in the shower). However, one benefit that can come out of choral singing in particular is socialization. Obviously the more scientific advantages to singing are so important, but singing can help with more than your brain chemicals. When I started out as a singer, I could barely perform even when I was among the choir. It took a lot of practice, but singing with a group provided me with more confidence, and I was eventually able to do solo performances. Singing has helped me in a lot of areas in my life, not to mention its fun!

Spongebob image found here.

Great info from Suzy S. here.

How stuff works science article here.

I don’t hate science

Hi, my name is Erin. I’m a second semester junior and I’m an art history major in the school of Arts and Architecture. Last spring was my first semester at Penn State, and before that I attended two other colleges. I was looking through my transcripts and realized that I had not fulfilled my science quota for my gen eds, thus spent hours pouring through course catalogues to find a less scientific science class. I read the description of Science 200 and thought that this could be a good fit for me. I was further intrigued by Andrew’s solid reviews on Rate My Professor. Science is interesting to me and I’m well aware that it plays a crucial part in the world we live in. That being said, I’ve rarely managed to be successful in a science class.

It’s not so much that I went out of my way to not be a science major; I just have passions for other fields. I first discovered art history when I was a senior in high school and was taking a Spanish civilizations course. As part of the course we learned about the history of Spain and then took a trip over spring break to experience it all first hand. During the year I really enjoyed the art history unit, but it was when we went to La Reina Sofía in Madrid that I fell in love with art and the importance of it when creating and retelling history. I particularly enjoyed Picasso’s Guernica, a painting depicting a mass bombing in the northern parts of Spain around the time of the civil war.


This is an absolutely massive and striking work by Picasso that no doubt took a lot of thought and time. This is when I realized that, much like scientific process, art has to go through many trials and needs to be worked and reworked until the artist has achieved something that the greater community can accept and appreciate as art. I then went on to do some web surfing to see if anyone had a more eloquent way to describe the relationship I had found and I read a great article that you can read  here.

As it turns out, the ideas behind science are a lot like the artistic process and I’m looking forward to exploring this further through conversations rather than in a lab.



image found here .