I am a co-author of LAB CULTURE: a recipe for innovation in science, which is a website community and cookbook-in-the-making that aims to humanize the public’s view of scientists by highlighting scientists from all over the world through the lens of their cultures, favorite foods, stories, and scientific journeys (funded by AAAS IF/THEN; https://www.labculturerecipes.com).
You learn a lot about somebody when you share a meal together.Anthony Bourdain
LAB CULTURE is about bringing people from all over the world together to share their love of food, science, and culture. How are these connected? It started with a group of friends who happened to be scientists. Though science is often portrayed as a sterile and solitary endeavor, these friends found that shared meals inspired great new ideas, fruitful collaborations, and the discovery of ways that we are different and similar to one another that helped form deep and lasting connections.
LAB CULTURE: a recipe for innovation in science is a cookbook and website community that aims to humanize the public’s view of scientists by highlighting scientists from all over the world through the lens of their cultures, favorite foods, stories, and scientific journeys. This idea stemmed from Ahna Skop’s love of food, cooking, and many lively scientist dinners that she has participated in over the years. At these dinners a great deal of laughter, memories, life-long friendships, collaborations, and innovative ideas were generated.
Our different backgrounds and cultures shape not only the way each of us see the world, but also how the diversity of scientists can bring distinct talents and ideas together to tackle universal problems, such as cancer, infertility, neurodegeneration, climate change, the global food supply, and technology use.
Many young students and the public, never hear about our passions outside of science. With Lab culture we have the opportunity to connect with the public through our shared cultures, childhood memories, career paths, personal stories, and food, and through this, we can come to recognize how similar we are to each other. Equally, the public will gain knowledge about how vastly important cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, religious, socio-economic, sexual orientation, disability, language, mental health, and life experiences are to science and innovation.
Our short-term goals are to create an online community to share our journey as scientists and outside passions. We will do this by building a websites to share recipes, assemble a cookbook, and maintain a blog of longer personal stories from scientists. Our hope is to highlight scientists from all over the world and humanize them through the lens of their cultures, favorite foods, stories, and scientific journeys.
We look forward to cooking with you and hearing your stories!