Blogger LabMom at The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love examines children's misconceptions of scientists — as demonstrated by a Fermilab exercise — which she says are formed at a very young age. Cartoon scientists, she says, "influence our kids' ideas much more than even close contact with actual scientists." She adds that the best way to expose children to what scientists are really like is to bring them to the lab, so that they can see for themselves. In the Fermilab experiment, she says, seventh graders were asked to illustrate and describe scientists both before and after a visit to the facility and their drawings shows that "exposure therapy" is efficacious. DrugMonkey's post on the Fermilab project has generated several comments. Becca notes the "lab coat to no-lab-coat" change, while reader Namnezia says "I like how the gender often changes from male to female after the visit," adding that "if the scientist stays male, then he grows a goatee."
'Lab Coat to No Lab Coat'
Jul 06, 2010