It’s summer in Portland, and we’re getting a brief reprieve from what seems like an endless series of heat waves. It’s the time of year that many kids’ schedules fill with activities, from swim lessons to library reading programs to summer camps. I’ve never been to the sort of season-long sleepaway camp portrayed in Lumberjanes or Addams Family Values, but some of my big childhood highlights were the times I got to spend a week of my summer vacation at science camp.
Science camp was the best because I was allowed to ask weird questions, the ones that some people find boring. I got to stay up late and sleep under the stars during a meteor shower; go for a hike and get into a conversation about why you can’t drink out of that one lake. Things had reasons and processes, which I was deeply hungry for at that age.
In this issue, we’re looking at science as a profession, as a procedure, and as a way we understand our environment. We’ll be using it as a critical lens to examine how computing impacts justice at core levels, and how you don’t have to be an expert to go out and study something. We’ll look at information sharing and ethical data collection.
I appreciate the range of backgrounds this issue’s authors have to share with us. Some work within academic institutions and have formal credentials, while others come from different backgrounds or are self-taught. As a group, they demonstrate how science is relevant and accessible to all of us. Enjoy, and tell us how you put your new knowledge to use.