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Crime and Punishment and Science: What Exactly is Scientific in Forensics?

(Image credit:  http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/q-a-with-jennifer-mnookin:-raising-the-bar-for-scientific-evidence-in-court) Systematic discrimination in the criminal justice system has been painfully highlighted recently in mainstream media.  As a scientist, researcher, and person of color, I have been thinking about ways to eradicate that discrimination in both long and short times scales.  Based on my experience trying to change safety culture (i.e., helping researchers…

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You Deserve To Be Here: Imposter Syndrome and Mental Health in Graduate School

(Photo credit: http://berkeleysciencereview.com/article/mind-grad-school/) I did something either very brave or very stupid when I came to graduate school. I changed fields. I have an undergraduate degree in Physics with a minor in English, and I switched to Materials Science for a PhD, which does not sound too different until you consider that the material scientists at…

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Five Brilliant Women in Black History

https://rebelwomenembroidery.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/banner-collage-cropped.jpg?w=851&h=315&crop=1 Black History Month has come a long way since 1927 when it was first pitched as “Negro History Week” by historian Carter G. Woodson to commemorate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. As of 1976, it has come to be the full month of February in the United States and, though it is the…