The Look of Science

I’m sitting in an the Chicago airport right now waiting for a connecting flight to St. Louis – home of the National Science Teacher’s Association national meeting this year (of course this won’t be posted until I’m cozy in my hotel and have wireless). Anyway, my colleague just nudged me and pointed out how easy it is to tell who else is headed to this conference. Science teachers tend to have a certain look – or more accurately one of a few types of looks…

I wonder, do most groups have a characteristic look? I mean, if I were more attuned to the music culture would I be able to pick out fellow travels heading toward [insert name of big music fest here]? Or the nurses or architects headed toward their respective meetings?

It’s interesting to think about how we surround ourselves with people that resemble us. Or maybe it’s that we change ourselves to resemble the people that surround us. Or maybe our careers AND our looks both reflect our values.

I know scientists have studied how people judge the attractiveness of others and found that people tend to find attractive the people that look like themselves or like those they grew up with. Maybe when we see people that resemble us (or those we grew up around) being successful in a particular type of career that makes us more confident/comfortable in those areas.

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