The Golden Goose Awards
What an amazing event to attend. This was the 7th year of the award ceremony, which honors federally-funded research that seemed silly at the time but ended up being groundbreaking. It was an honor to see all of them accept their awards and hear the stories of how they got started. Here’s a link to the website, which has details of all the awardees and their research.
The one message that resonated from all of the congressmen and women, hosts, and awardees was that federally funded research is pivotal to the advancement of scientific knowledge and that young researchers need to stay curious. A great message to remember.
It was a particular honor to see the inventors of the implicit bias test, which—according to Harvard University psychologist Mahzarin Banaji—came about because she couldn’t make up her mind about what she wanted to study. She had a “that’s interesting” moment when people couldn’t explain why they choose male names more than female names when asked which were famous—even when both names were names pulled out of a phone book. This evolved over time to the online test that over thirty million people have taken on racial implicit bias. It’s something that I teach explicitly in my Forensic Science classes and that other teachers at my school also use. It’s an uncomfortable concept that, I feel, is critical for us to understand about ourselves and how it affects our systems and institutions.
If you haven’t heard of the test or taken it before, here’s the link, but I recommend you be ready to sit with what you discover. Also, here’s a episode of the podcast “Hidden Brain” I heard a while back that featured Mahzarin Banaji talking about implicit bias and some of impacts on the criminal justice system.
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