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Gage DeZoort

DEZOORT: Bias, science and sexual harassment

For years, U.C. Berkeley Astronomer Geoffrey Marcy made headlines with his extraordinary ability to hunt exoplanets. This month, though, he’s making headlines for a different reason: violating U.C. Berkeley’s sexual harassment policies.

​DEZOORT: What do we expect from NASA?

Any discovery short of finding extraterrestrial life is not, by any means, disappointing. In fact, as popular scientists like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson have argued, evidence of flowing water does point to life.

​DEZOORT: Modernize the Engineering School

Personally, I find it much easier to stay alert during lectures in Rice Hall than in Thornton, and I’m willing to attribute that fact directly to the facilities. Put generally, it’s not quite fitting to study the forefront of science and technology in a building that feels incredibly dated.

​DEZOORT: Abandon first-year dining requirements

If it’s not dining options or advertising causing this lack of interest in meal plans, then what is it? Personally, and based off of the general feeling around Grounds, I’d be willing to label dining hall food as subpar. It’s reasonable to assert that this stands out as a reason that students might spend less on meal plans. After all, there’s really no other reason students would avoid expensive meal plans. Dining locations are abundant and extremely convenient, and there are meal options for most hours of the day. It must be the case that students simply don’t enjoy dining hall food.

​DEZOORT: Mind over money

Though the facts and figures point towards STEM fields, they actually only reflect a subset of what it is to be ‘useful.’ It is, then, not reasonable to generalize that STEM majors are useful and liberal arts majors are not. Here, it’s useful to consider the differences between hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are easily quantified abilities and skillsets, demonstrated through applicable knowledge and abilities. Soft skills are more qualitative abilities, oftentimes involving personal traits and interpersonal skills.

​DEZOORT: The Mars One debate

Just as the first ships headed west from Europe, there must be a first voyage to Mars. After all, exploration is innate in mankind, and we will eventually exhaust the Earth’s limited resources. Each of the journeys involves a long, treacherous road through a hostile environment. However, the circumstances are vastly different.

​DEZOORT: In defense of metal

In general, most listeners immediately write off metal. After all, it seems like noise to a novice ear. However, the music is actually an intricate combination of melodies and complex rhythms. Whether they’re pleasing to the listener, they are an enormous part of what makes metal interesting. It’s simply a matter of presentation that separates metal from other music.

DEZOORT: Popular science for dummies

It’s an unfortunate fact that most humans simply aren’t equipped to distinguish between “Star Wars” and “real science.” For most, there’s little more foreign than string theory or the Higgs boson. Why, then, might the average viewer trust a book or television show to convey such alien abstractions? It’s not the fact that they’re outlandish (or otherwise too difficult for most of the audience to decipher). Rather, it’s the scientific figureheads endorsing them.

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