Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Does a Scientist Look Like?

On movies and TV shows, scientists are often depicted as boring, socially inept men in white labcoats. But scientists are far more diverse than these depictions indicate, and one blogger is determined to dispel stereotypes surrounding scientists.

This Is What a Scientist Looks Like is a Tumblr blog with new images of a different scientist everyday. The images typically feature the scientist out of the lab enjoying her favorite activities. And the message is clear: scientists definitely don't fit into a single mold.

Kelly Peach, a Phd candidate in organic chemistry, is one of the most recently featured scientists on the site. Image Courtesy Kelly Peach/TIWASLL.

Blog founder Allie Wilkinson wanted to change the public's perception of scientists by showing them the fascinating lives scientists live inside and outside of the lab.

On her website, she writes:

There is no single clear-cut path to becoming a scientist. A scientist can come from any background.

There is no cookie-cutter mold of what a scientist looks like. A scientist can look like you, or can look like me.

There is no rule that scientists can’t be multidimensional and can’t have fun.

Part of Wilkinson's inspiration stemmed from a project conducted at Fermilab that asked students to draw scientists before they visited and then after they met several physicists in the lab.

After meeting with scientists -- a new experience for most of the students -- they gained a better perspective of the diverse backgrounds of scientists. Now, Wilkinson hopes to do the same for her internet audience.

The site invites current scientists to share a picture of themselves and a short description.

So go ahead and take a look, there's plenty of unique scientists to learn about.

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