Lunch Time Talk: A Performance by R.Malfi & Sky

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Description of final performance:

Sky and I decided to stage one of our regular post-class lunch discussions for the class. The conversation took on the form of the discussion we would be about to have after our last Gender and Science class. We thought this would be an entirely appropriate format, given that we actually did extend our conversations beyond the classroom in this way. I can’t say that I have done that with many other classes, which is a shame, because it felt really good to have those very stereotypically “college” conversations. It was a sign that I was learning a lot from this course.

In our “Lunch Time Talk” performance we reflected on our journey through this course, including some key point that we learned and how we will use the knowledge gained from this course in our lives after Bryn Mawr. Sky addressed the fact that she is considering a career in education and that the pedagogical discussions we had in class will contribute to the way she conveys science to her students. I talked about the fact that I had never taken a philosophy or gender and sexuality course during my time at Bryn Mawr until this class (a fact that I am somewhat ashamed to admit). I knew that I had to take a course like this before completing my education here – without this experience, my liberal arts education would not really be complete. Having gone through the course, I realize that this was a significant piece of my science education. I had never really thought about the fact that the field or practice of science could be something different than what I’ve been taught it is, and I think understanding awesome feminist critics like Barad, Harraway, Harding and Keller have made me all the more equipped to enter the world of science as a woman. Sky’s words were, “I feel like this class has equipped me with an arsenal of information.” We are ready to battle for the idea that science is a malleable, flexible, culturally influenced sub-culture and practice… We are ready to share the discourse, not just about science, but about feminism, and what that really means.

I tried to touch on the fact that I am going to continue my scientific pursuits by seeking higher education in the field of ecology. What I will bring to those endeavors is not just the theoretical discourse, but a renewed sense of responsibility for making scientific information accessible to the public. For instance, everyone is making a huge hullabaloo about the dramatic honey bee decline in the US and cell phone usage. The media took this one theory among many and ran with it, even though it’s one of the less believable scenarios I’ve encountered as a person who studies pollinators as her passion. It’s amazing how people consider the media to be truth. I want to help increase scientific literacy. I want people to think critically about what they hear – I want every person to be equipped with the ability to think through an issue and judge its soundness or validity. Those were the basic ideas behind our staged conversation – hopefully most of them were conveyed to the class!

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