Ideas for the Mid-Semester Essay

So far in our class, we have discussed many topics that are actually relevant in today’s world, and I’m thankful that we’ve been given the resources and opportunities to really showcase what we have learned so far. For the mid-semester essay, I have a few ideas in mind. The first one that came to me was based upon World War II and the impact of the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My main reason for wanting to pursue this topic is because I had heard about the atomic bomb ever since I was in elementary school, and the event that ultimately ended World War II has always been very interesting for me. Therefore, my first idea for the mid-semester essay revolves around whether or not the scientists who ultimately discovered and helped to create the atomic bomb should be held accountable for all of the lives lost due to it. After World War II, many more nuclear weapons were created, and the atomic bomb project has a huge impact on today’s world, and that’s why it’s so fascinating. For this question, I would consult various resources that allow me to gain a better perspective of the scientists as well as the Japanese people. I would also research the domino effect and the impact the usage of the first nuclear weapon had on our futures.

Another topic that I’m interested in for the mid-semester essay revolves around the gender roles and racial inequalities in the STEM fields. When I was in high school, my physics class barely had any females. At first, I didn’t think much of it until my teacher mentioned that there was a need for more women in the STEM industries such as science, engineering, and even medicine. There is also the presence of institutional racism in our country, and that has been evident especially in these past few months with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. I want to understand how these gender and racial inequalities play a role in the field of science today as compared to before. Comparing and contrasting will allow me to gain a better perspective on the changes that we as a society as making. This would also mean that I would delve deeper into the presence of white supremacy in the workplace, and I could pull examples from Okun’s work. Okun believes that the pressure on American scientists to immediately be successful is a harmful trait of white supremacy when he says that the sense of urgency “frequently results in sacrificing potential allies for quick or highly visible results” (Okun, 2020). Using this information as well as pulling out knowledge gained from discussions about Hidden Figures will really help me to answer these questions.

Finally, I am interested in how art can affect science. In our class so far, we’ve used many creative assignments to gain a better perspective on how art and science are related, and this has really intrigued me. We have used colors and drawing, light, and most recently, sound. I’d like to have a better understanding on whether or not art positively or negatively impacts science. In Redniss’s Radioactive, it was evident how different colors, photos, and other materials can be used to express art, which in turn can influence people’s perceptions. I’d be more interested to understand how this may happen.

Melfi, T. (2017, January 6). Hidden Figures [Biography, Drama, History]. Fox 2000 Pictures, Chernin Entertainment, Levantine Films

Okun, T. (n.d.). White supremacy culture. Retrieved October 02, 2020,from

Redniss, L. (2015). Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, a tale of love & fallout. London: Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

MSU Fall 2020 LB 492 Section 011

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