Common Misconceptions About Scientific Terms

science-lecture-DNAScience touches our lives every day, yet far too often, scientific concepts become misrepresented in the media. This problem is not an innocent one; swaying public opinion on policies about climate change and vaccination has a large impact on public health. It is the responsibility of every person to achieve a basic level of scientific literacy. More important than being able to recall a library of scientific facts is the decision making process we go through; a mindset that is asking questions and addressing uncertainty can serve as a barrier against deception. Understanding the words common among scientific studies should help non scientists navigate through the sea of information they encounter online.

This article covers nine common misconceptions about scientific terms. We recognize that there are hundreds of words that are misused, so we encourage your contributions below.

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How Does Your Garden Grow? Why, Naturally, Of Course!

How does your garden grow? Well, normally, I would tell you that it doesn’t, not until late May anyway. But this year, the grass is green, the trees are flowering and the garden is already tilled in early April! Unseasonably warm temperatures come with questions: Is this global warming? The 2012 apocalypse? When can I start planting???

I fell in love with vegetable gardening about three years ago when a coworker brought in some extra seedlings. There is nothing like watching food grow up from a mere seed and then harvesting and eating! At Promega, we have some community garden space, which is great since my black walnut tree at home kills all my tomatoes. We are attempting to keep this garden space organic. As a new gardener, I am still learning what this means, so I thought I would share some of my new-found information. Continue reading “How Does Your Garden Grow? Why, Naturally, Of Course!”

Our Glorious Kitchen Garden

Having never grown a vegetable garden, I took advantage of some planting space in the Promega community garden in June 2010. Since most of my yard is shaded, this was the first time I had the opportunity to dig up soil, sow seeds, weed, water and harvest produce. I now have a greater appreciation for the effort it takes to place a ripe, beefsteak tomato on my plate. During this experience I learned that 1) I thankfully had two garden experts in my department, 2) not all winter squash is as edible as it appears on the seed package, 3) one gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs. or 3.79 kgs, and 4) mosquitoes can form mushroom clouds when you disturb their shady garden retreats.

Looking toward the 2011 growing season, I was a bit skeptical when I heard that Promega’s Manager, Culinary Experience and new Head Chef, Nate Herndon, was overseeing the preparations of the employee community garden in addition to a new kitchen garden. Little did I know what culinary inspirations Nate and his staff would create for our three on-site cafeterias.  Continue reading “Our Glorious Kitchen Garden”