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Duration:04:52
Uploaded:2014-02-26
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Emily answers your questions from the antler room!


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The Brain Scoop is written and hosted by:
Emily Graslie

Created By:
Hank Green

Directed, Edited, Animated, and Scored by:
Michael Aranda

Production Assistant:
Katie Kirby

Filmed on Location and Supported by:
The Field Museum in Chicago, IL
(http://www.fieldmuseum.org)

Special thanks to Ben Fenkner, Evan Liao, Martina Šafusová, Andrés García Molero, and Seth Bergenholtz for captioning/translating this episode!
(Intro)

We're in the antler room, part of the Mammal Division here at the Field Museum, and there are lots of antlers. And also some things that don't have antlers, like horses. (Neighs)

Henry Trochez, @henry_trochez, asks: What is your most memorable fan interaction at the museum?

I met a four year old fan whose father told me that she loved watching The Brain Scoop, especially the wolf dissection videos. When I asked her if watching the Brain Scoop made her want to be a scientist when she grew up, she said, "yeah!" And that she also wanted to be a dolphin trainer. And a mommy. And the president.

Veronika, @Veronik95818950, asks: Where do "street names" for animals and plants come from? Who comes up with those vs the long and Latin. And how?

Just to clarify, I think by "street name" you mean "common name." "Street name" makes it sound like when you call something a dog, which is actually Canis lupus, you're referring to some kind of weird drug or something. The common names come around mostly from folk etymology. You have a guinea pig, which is a small rodent, but it's more closely related to capybaras than pigs. And it's also not from Guinea; it's from South America, so that ultimately leads to a lot of confusion overall. That's why scientists and the scientific community refer to the scientific name so we all know what we are talking about across language borders.

Skyen, @tbskyen, asks: What is the most important thing museums and their collections  have to offer people in education and in their lives?

Ultimately and idealistically museums offer a better understanding of our world and hopefully inspire a deeper appreciation for all of the rocks and plants and animals and people within it. The world has not and will not exist forever. Species have abundantly risen and fallen over millions of years. The tides evolving from splashing molten seas to the calm and polluted oceans of our current waters. We've got a limited time here alive on this planet, and how we choose to show appreciation for all the biological and technological advancements required in placing us here and now can be informed by how much we contextualize ourselves within something that is so much greater than the individual.

Panda-Escapades asks: I fell in love with a museum but I don't know if I'd want to work there or just visit over and over. What can I do to figure this out?

I'd say you two should start hanging out a little bit more. Don't wait for the museum to make the first move. Maybe go out a couple of times: go on a few dates, dinner and a movie... see where it goes!

Brittany Hardy asks: How would a person go about seeing items of a museum's collection? For example, I am doing a research project on bats and want to know what it would take to approach a museum to look at specimens.

This answer is totally not glamorous but it is practical: I would check out that museum's website, go to the staff directory and find out who the collection manager is for the department in which you want to do research. So if you're studying bats, find out who the collections manager of zoology or mammalogy is and then you contact them. Collections managers are responsible for processing loans, meaning they loan out specimens to other researchers, universities and museums, and they also accept loans for the same purpose. They also facilitate researchers coming to the collections and studying so that's where you come in.

Arne Asada, ‏@tacotv69, asks: When my dog dies do you want me to send him to you to dissect?

Probably not. Did he have two heads? Extra limbs? Was he particularly aerodynamic? Did he have fire breathing abilities? If not, then I probably don't want him.

Nick Ulivieri, ‏@ChiPhotoGuy, asks: If The Field Museum asked you to choose and develop their next feature exhibit, what would it be?

The natural history of food! It could talk about the ways our diets have changed as we've developed new technologies and different ways to prepare our food. How food as a necessary substance can have negative or positive implications on our longevity. It could talk about the trade of food, how people have fought over food. It could talk about all different aspects of food. I don't really know. I was just kind of hungry when I started writing this.

Ronan Hart asks: If you could give advice to your 15 year old self, what would it be?

I probably would have told myself to take more math, because I think it's really useful when trying to understand things in an intangible or ambiguous context. I also would have told myself that I really did look bad with pink hair. And that prom doesn't matter. And that I should read more books and go to class more often and eat dinner with my family every night. Don't make farting noises with your mouth in A.P. History. Don't eat your lunch in the bathroom. If you're one of those kids that eats lunch in the bathroom, just cut it out right now. It's, like, not even sanitary.

(Credits)

It still has brains on it.