TED Conversations

Yu-An Chen


This conversation is closed.

Why don't we have more "Kitchen" scientists?

When people hear the word "Science", they often think of fancy labs with high technology equipment, and this is not too far off-- In my Bioelectricity class, for example, we learned about patch clamp experiments, which use tiny electrical recorders called micropipettes to record electrical currents from single ion channels in cells, and the voltage clamp experiments performed by Hodgkin and Huxley, in which they managed to thread wires through a single axon! These experiments, and a lot of other important experiments outside this field, require a lot of expensive machinery, chemicals and facilities. But does science always have to be a luxury? For example, instead of using expensive fish-eye lens for photography experiment, we could simply buy a much cheaper door viewer to get the same barrel distortion effect. Or you can go online and buy kits to record from brains, or if you live in New York City, you can join the community laboratory called GenSpace, take workshops, trainings, or can work on our own projects!

How do you think we can help science become more accessible to everyone? The more people, both amateur and professional, who contribute to science, the more ideas will be created!


Closing Statement from Yu-An Chen

Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. I got to know a lot of new resources by going through the comments. It seems like most people will be glad to see more kitchen scientists. We can start with turning off TV and explore more about the world. Science is all around us, if one has the heart, anyone can become a kitchen scientist.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 10 2012: Absolutely true. Science these days is meant to appear so complicated that when people hear it, they tend to avoid it. For example science can be related with cooking, because a kitchen is like a lab, and when you are in the kitchen, you are carrying out an experiment, by putting together different ingredients with a goal of making something delicious out of the different ingredients. They have made it seem so hard that a lot of women now feel like it is a burden to cook for their husband. They prefer eating out all the time, instead to taking sometime to experiment with different ingredients which is the same thing scientists and lab technicians do. So i think this is a very important topic, and there should be more awareness created about this, so it won't be heading to the point where every young person thinks anything science is difficult, and we might end up not having young folks interested in anything science at some point.
    • W T 100+

      • 0
      Feb 11 2012: Oh Mr. Onuoha, many of us enjoy cooking still......and experimenting with all kinds of baked goodies, not only for our husbands, but also for our friends.

      We have even tried our hand at rock candy using sugared water, a jar and a string.....lots of fun!!!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.