Science on a Stick

September 08, 2017

Market Science asks Minnesota State Fair goers who they think of as ‘scientists’

Scientist on a Stick

The Minnesota State Fair: Land of 10,000 food-on-a-stick options, from corn dogs to hot dish to egg rolls. But science? This year, Market Science took advantage of the bustling crowds at STEM day to ask fair goers from near or far, ‘Who do you think of as a scientist?”.

“This was an informal assessment for fun to see who fair goers would consider as a scientist,” says Ryan Briscoe Runquist, a postdoctoral associate in CBS and Market Science board member. “We wanted to know whether they would only write foundational scientists you learn in school like Isaac Newton or Marie Curie and contemporary scientists popular in science communication such as Bill Nye or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or if they identified themselves or people they knew at the fair or in real life as scientist.”

While surveying those who stopped by the their booth, the Market Science volunteers Minnesota Fair-ified the question, having people fill out their responses on popsicle sticks. The “Scientist on a Stick” activity got many an answer, ranging from Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur and Marie Curie to “my son”, “school” and “me!”

“The assessment came from some conversations we had where we were curious about who people think of as scientists,” says Briscoe Runquist. “Someday this might help us understand if we are changing or enhancing 'science identity' for kids in particular.”