Who and What is “SciMoms”?

Lego figure representations of each of the six SciMoms.A couple of years ago, I started a blog. My son was starting to eat solids and I was trying to find out whether or not GMOs were safe. Faced with all the contradictory information online, I decided to turn to scientific research papers to find out whether there was any truth to the claims we often hear about GMOs: they’re toxic, they’re bad for the environment, they’re sterile, they’re harmful. My husband encouraged me to start a blog to share what I was learning with family and friends, pointing out that as a scientist, I had the training and basic skills that he and our friends may lack to do the digging and research that I was setting out to do.

My journey towards science communication mirrors those of my fellow SciMoms: Alison, Jenny, Anastasia, and Kavin. We represent different ethnicities and cultural upbringings. We have different religious beliefs. We have different educational backgrounds. What we share is the desire to make parenting decisions rooted in science, to learn from experts in their field, and to support our scientific institutions when they provide guidance for establishing policy.

Strangely enough, despite the fact that these are probably some of the women that I chat with most frequently besides my immediate family, I had not met all of them in person until very recently. There were webs of relationships between us, as we met online in the course of doing science communication work. In 2015, we decided to come together to write a letter in response to a group of celebrities who were fighting for GMO labeling. In our letter, we asked these celebrities to use facts, not fear, in their advocacy work. We asked many other scientists, farmers, and science advocates to sign on to the letter. Our efforts were noticed by filmmakers Natalie and Brian Newell who contacted us to find out what we were all about. Our story resonated with Natalie who worked on a kickstarter to fund a documentary about parents like us, and it is to her that we owe the moniker “Science Moms”. We decided to continue the project as “SciMoms”.

On this website, we hope to share posts about the questions we’ve had as parents and what we’ve learned, whether it’s about the safety of Vitamin K shots or the safety of bouncy castles. We promise to provide resources to reputable organizations. We will ask advice from experts in their fields when we are not sure of the answers ourselves. And in case you’re wondering, we aren’t getting paid by anyone for doing this: we all have day jobs as scientists or as writers. This is a passion project that we’ve been thinking about for a while and are finally bringing to reality.

We will also share different projects that we’ve embarked on. Our first is a comic strip, where we hope to share key concepts about the scientific method and various topics, all while we smash the providers of misinformation as our Lego selves.

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