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St. Louis blogger helps inner city youth find "on-ramp" to science

The text that follows is a condensed version of a longer interview, which you can listen to above.

Science blogger Danielle Lee is on a roll.

The Memphis native recently got her Ph.D. in animal behavior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Then, in July, Scientific American invited her to join the magazine’s new science blog network, which includes about 50 different blogs covering a range of topics, styles, and voices.

Lee told St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra her new blog is based on two of her previous blogs, Urban Science Adventures and Southern Playalistic Evolution Music.

Urban Science Adventures is “basically a blog that catalogs and uses pictures and my narratives of science that you can see right outside your backdoor,” says Lee. The blog focuses on urban ecology, “and all those different ways to access environmental science and conservation and biology, but through accessible wildlife watching in your neighborhood parks or backyard.”

Southern Playalistic Evolution Music, says Lee, is a blog that explains concepts in evolutionary biology using rap songs. “I call it evolutionary science remixed with phat beats.”

Lee says her African American identity helps inform her work as a scientist and science blogger. “I specifically blog for the underrepresented. ” She says she recognizes the barriers that inner city youth face when it comes to pursuing a career in science or engineering. “There aren’t a lot of role models,” says Lee. “So that’s why I do my outreach, to let folks see, one, a different face of science, and to see different avenues into science.”

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