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5 Things About Me: History of Science Ph.D. candidate Emily Redman

AAAS member Emily Redman says:
Emily Redman
Ph.D. Candidate
University of California
Berkley, California

Background: I am a Ph.D. candidate in the history of science at University of California, Berkeley. I am currently working on a research project that examines the role of the federal government in effecting mathematics education reform in the 20th century United States.

Question 1: Share a story from your past that lead to your choosing your field of work.
Answer: In college, I was an intern at a national lab. Though I enjoyed hands-on experimentation. What excited me most was researching how biophysics emerged as a discipline. I didn't recognize it then, but it was clearly a harbinger of my future career.

Question 2: What fuels your passion for your work?
Answer: It is unfailingly fascinating to familiarize myself with the arguments surrounding math education, unpacking the rhetoric, and seeing how these considerations enter into policy and the classroom. By examining mathematics as separate from science, I hope to add to the literature and give back to the discipline.

Question 3: Share a comment or opinion you have on a topical science-related issue — preferably one not associated with your own field.
Answer: Recently, the government "ban" on incandescent bulbs has made the news, yet arguments for free-market choice and Constitutional rights seem off mark. Edison's incandescent bulb reached American shelves with the inventor's cooperation with government, infrastructure, economics, and public opinion. Reconsidering the light bulb, then, is not rebuking a national hero, but embracing his tradition.

Question 4: What's your favorite food? Got a sweet tooth? Caffeine junkie?
Answer: I definitely love the sandwich. I make my own bread and champion it as the perfect breakfast food. Fortunately, the sandwich is just as delicious (and arguably more socially acceptable) for any other meal. My go-to sandwich is whole-grain bread with cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh basil, and spinach.

Question 5: If you were president for a day, what would be the first law you would want to pass? 
Answer: Should I find myself in the unlikely position of President of the United States, the first law I would pass would be an integrity of food act. It shouldn't be difficult or complicated for Americans to put foods in their bodies that aren't full of corn syrup, food dyes, and chemical additives.