Over the holidays I was at home, minding my own business - drinking tea, working on retooling the last publishable chapter from my dissertation, watching bad paranormal TV, and acting as a heated mattress for the kitty - when there's a knock on my front door.
Lo and behold, it was a door-to-door religious solicitor. Nowadays they are fairly high-tech: rather than try to hand me a pamphlet, his opening line was presenting his tablet/iPad and saying "Now watch this video and I'm sure it will help you answer some of Life's questions." My grandparents had a sign taped to their door that read "No solicitors, religious or otherwise. We have no time, patience, or money." Needless to say, they taught me well.
My response to these types of solicitations is polite but direct: I'm an evolutionary biologist, and my questions are already answered. I caught a very brief change flicker over the guy's face - something akin to a flare of anger - but he wisely turned around and left.
Naturally, I shared my experience with my Twitter friends.
I let my mind free-associate a bit after that. I briefly thought about how funny it would be if, rather than having religious solicitors, we had science solicitors, going door-to-door spreading the Science. Of course my brain immediately jumped to "Science doesn't preach: science provides learning opportunities."Oh, person who just rang my doorbell for religion. pic.twitter.com/Zi5jvuLltr— Lisa Buckley (@Lisavipes) December 19, 2016
The more my brain played with the idea, the more my brain liked it.I should get pamphlets made up to respond to doorbells for deities.— Lisa Buckley (@Lisavipes) December 19, 2016
"My Favorite Jumping Spiders"
"Sky Burials & You"
"BIRDS! OMFG BIRDS!!"
I have completed one pamphlet for what I'm calling Science Tracks: purely science communication pamphlets that can be used for any opportunity that arises for spreading the good word about all the awesome science that's out there. I may have been a little optimistic about getting more than one completed over the holidays. One big reason is that I don't want to use other people's photos for this without permission, and the only pamphlet I could complete using my own photos was OMFG* BIRDS! (no one who follows me is surprised), but it is a start of something that I would like to continue.OK: now I'm seriously thinking of doing this. I'm thinking pdfs that ppl can print as they need.— Lisa Buckley (@Lisavipes) December 19, 2016
*Oh My Feathery Goodness
Here is the link to the first Science Tracks PDF, OMFG BIRDS! Hope you enjoy!
Here is a screenshot of the outside of the pamphlet:
Here's a screenshot of the inside of the pamphlet:
If you would like me to make a Science Tracks pamphlet for your study organism, please let me know!