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Being Alone, Anna, and Apparently: CNN @CNN CAN Plan Bee' is a personal robotic bee designed to mimic how bees pollinate flowers and crops cnn.it/21QKbuY jaküb @sadandchildish instead of saving the environment and helping actual bees let's spend billions on robots that do what bees would do for free CNN @CNN Plan Bee' is a personal robotic bee designed to mimic how bees pollinate flowers and crops cnn.it/21QKbuY chuppa-thingy: curlicuecal: pts-m-d: thetrippytrip: dont you just love capitalism..   Black Mirror predicted this we are all goona die my god but I get mad when someone flippantly dismisses important scientific progress because you can make it sound dumb by framing it the right way. For a start, of course a lot of science sounds dumb.  Science is all in the slogging through the minutiae, the failures, the tedious process of filling in the blank spaces on the map because it ain’t ’t glamorous, but if someone doesn’t do it, no one gets to know for sure what’s there. Someone’s gotta spend their career measuring fly genitalia under a microscope. Frankly, I’m grateful to the person who is tackling that tedium, because if they didn’t, I might have to, and I don’t wanna. But let’s talk about why we should care about this particular science and spend money on it. (And I’ll even answer without even glancing at the article.) Off the top of my head? -advances in robotics -advances in miniature robotics -advances in flight technology -advantages in simulating and understanding the mechanics and programming of small intelligences -ability to grow crops in places uninhabitable by insects (space? cold/hot? places where honeybees are non-native and detrimental to the ecosystem?) -ability to improve productivity density of crops and feed more people -less strain on bees, who do poorly when forced to pollinate monocultures of low nutrition plants -ability to run tightly controlled experiments on pollination, on the effects of bees on plant physiology, on ecosystem dynamics, etc -fucking robot bees, my friend -hahaha think how confused those flowers must be Also worth keeping in mind? People love, love, love framing science in condescending and silly sounding terms as an excuse to cut funding to vital programs. *Especially* if it’s also associated with something (gasp) ‘inappropriate’, like sex or ladyparts. This is why research for a lot of women’s issues, lgbtq+ issues, minorities’ issues, and vulnerable groups in general’s issues tends to lag so far behind the times. This is why some groups are pushing so hard to cut funding for climate change research these days. Anything that’s acquired governmental funding has been through an intensely competitive, months-to-years long screening by EXPERTS IN THE FIELD who have a very good idea what research is likely to be most beneficial to that field and fill a needed gap. Trust me.  The paperwork haunts my nightmares. So, we had a joke in my lab: “Nice work, college boy.” It was the phrase for any project that you could spend years and years working on and end up with results that could be summed up on a single, pretty slide with an apparently obvious graph. The phrase was taken from something a grower said at a talk my advisor gave as a graduate student: “So you proved that plants grow better when they’re watered? Nice work, college boy.” But like, the thing is? There’s always more details than that. And a lot of times it’s important that somebody questions our assumptions.  A labmate of mine doing very similar research demonstrated that our assumptions about the effect of water stress on plant fitness have been wrong for years because *nobody had thought to separate out the different WAYS a plant can be water stressed.* (Continuously, in bursts, etc.). And it turns out these ways have *drastically different effects* with drastically different measures required for response to them to keep from losing lots of money and resources in agriculture. Nice work, college boy. :p Point the second: surprise! Anna Haldewang is an industrial design student.  She developed this in her product design class.  And, as far as I can tell, she has had no particular funding at all for this project, much less billions of dollars.  ‘grats, Anna, you FUCKING ROCK. ps: On a lighter note, summarizing research to make it sound stupid is both easy AND fun. Check out @lolmythesis – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. :33 Okay, so I actually know Anna. She is my classmate and my friend, and I know this project quite well. And I could not have put the above statement any better. Here’s the thing guys, bumblebees are endangered, but they have a very important roll in our ecosystem. While we are doing everything we can to stabalize the bee populations, we also have to make sure that an important job is being done in our ecosystem. This drone was a conceptual way to aid that as we work to stabalize bee populations. I have never been so mad at Tumblr before. This is a huge accomplishment for a student, let alone a female in our male dominated industry. Stop shitting on everything, it doesn’t make you cool. Oh and actually read into things before you go tearing them apart.