Institute of Figuring | Margaret Wertheim | Talks Google | Summary and Q&A

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November 18, 2013
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Talks at Google
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Institute of Figuring | Margaret Wertheim | Talks Google

TL;DR

Margaret Wertheim discusses the Institute for Figuring, which aims to communicate science and math to diverse audiences through art and play.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is there a lack of diversity in science communication?

Wertheim explains that traditional science communication often targets well-educated, white, males over the age of 35. This alienates other groups, such as women and minorities, who may have an interest in science but do not fit the typical audience profile.

Q: How can science communication be improved to reach a wider audience?

According to Wertheim, understanding the audience and engaging them in ways that are appealing to them is key. This may involve using different mediums, such as magazines targeted towards women, or incorporating art and play to make science more accessible and enjoyable.

Q: What is the purpose of the Crochet Coral Reef Project?

The Crochet Coral Reef Project aims to raise awareness about the devastation of coral reefs due to global warming. By engaging participants in crocheting hyperbolic forms, the project combines art, science, and ecological consciousness to communicate the urgency of the environmental crisis.

Q: How does the Institute for Figuring engage diverse audiences with math and science?

Through exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and publications, the Institute for Figuring uses playful practices and aesthetically pleasing presentations to communicate mathematical and scientific concepts to a wide range of people. This includes projects like business card origami and the exploration of fractals.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Margaret Wertheim discusses the lack of diversity in science communication and how it can be improved to reach women, minorities, and younger generations.

  • She emphasizes the importance of understanding the audience and engaging them in ways that are appealing to them.

  • The Institute for Figuring uses art and play to communicate science, such as the Crochet Coral Reef Project and business card origami.

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