Achieving STEM diversity: Fix the classrooms

A perspective piece published on June 2 in Science from the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) suggests that outdated classroom teaching methods discourage members of historically excluded communities (HECs) from graduating with a degree in science. Lead author, Jo Handelsman states “Outdated classroom teaching models are discriminatory, ultimately, we need to stop trying to fix the students and instead focus on our classrooms.”

But How Are You Really Feeling? Two Kohler Fellows challenge the way we communicate in exhibition

The How Are You Feeling? is an exhibit created by Kohler Fellows Hong Huo and Kushin Mukherjee that examines the limits of verbal communication through animated imagery. It will be on display at Communication Madison from May 28-June 3, with the opening reception on May 28th from 3-8PM (masks required).

Meet the new Writer-in-Residence: Kayla Cohen

What do mystery, mayhem, and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery have in common? The Writer-in-Residence Program, recently welcomed Kayla Cohen as a part of the Illuminating Discovery Hub at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery. The residency is an opportunity for an up-and-coming writer to work among scientists while crafting a manuscript with scientific themes.

Learn about bacteria through UW-Madison Ph.D. students’ adult coloring book

Tiffany Harris and Aedan Gardill want people to know that science doesn’t have to be boring.  The two students started working on the project in January as part of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery’s Kohler fellowship. The program joins together graduate students in arts and science fields to create multidisciplinary projects. The two University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral students completed their coloring book titled “Bacteria & Me” this month, hoping to pique audiences’ interest in learning about microbiology. 

Label-free Imaging, Plus Data Science, Means Better Quality Control for Biomanufacturing Stem Cells

Krishanu Saha and Melissa Skala have devised an innovative method for reprogramming cells that leverages micropatterning, label-free imaging and machine learning to enable real-time, noninvasive monitoring of reprogramming. This method can be used to develop cutting-edge personalized therapies and disease models.

Finding Associations Between Colors and Concepts

While looking at a graph about fruit, it may seem intuitive to associate a bar of blue to blueberries and yellow to bananas, but are there connections between color and abstract concepts such as driving, comfort, efficiency, or reliability?   Understanding how people absorb meaning from visual features, and predicting the meaning they attribute to color in any context is filled with possibility.

New Science to Script podcast featuring the Footprint Coalition added to SoundCloud

Michael Graf, WID’s Science to Script writer in residence (2021-2022)  interviews Rachel Kropa and David Lang from the Footprint Coalition. The Footprint Coalition invests in high-growth, sustainability-focused companies. They make charitable grants to non-profits that advance the adoption of environmental technology.

Claudia Solís-Lemus receives NSF CAREER Award

Claudia Solís-Lemus’ has been awarded a coveted five-year research grant from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. Solís-Lemus’ NSF grant will support her research, which combines statistical theory and biology to help understand  how the biodiversity that we see on Earth evolved from single-cell organisms. 

Science Explains Why We Have Favorite Colors

Through a series of lab studies between 2010 and 2017, Karen Schloss, PhD and her collaborator, Stephen Palmer PhD, a researcher at UC Berkeley, set out to find out why we like certain colors more than others.
They hypothesized the Ecological Valence Theory (EVT), which they describe in their 2017 paper as the theory that “…people like/dislike a given color to the degree that they like/dislike all of the objects and entities that they associate with that color.”

Bacterial “zorbing” reveals a new type of social movement

While studying the three-member model microbial community, nicknamed The Hitchhikers of the Rhizosphere (THOR), researchers from professor of plant pathology and director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery Jo Handelsman and professor of biomedical engineering and Discovery Fellow David Beebe’s labs noticed cells moving in unexpected, unique ways under the microscope.