The Memory of Science

Mawrters recall a slow reaction and a loud bang, human brains—and, of course, getting lost.

Instructor holding model of brain.

In Crowd Source, the Bulletin asks readers to answer a question related to their Bryn Mawr College experience. Here were your responses via social media.


The first time I was on the BMC campus, I was 14! My mother had a BMC master’s degree in chemistry, so she knew Park well. At that age, I loved geology, so she brought me to see the awesome rock collection there. I still remember that visit, almost 50 years ago.

Maureen Basedow ’83

Went outside to take a break during a make-up lab while waiting on a long, slow reaction. Had just laid down on the lawn when I heard a loud bang and a piece of my fractured crucible flew out the window. That was my last day as a science major. The forces of the universe had spoken.


A Park Science Center hallway.


I got lost in Park Science three years ago, and I’m still there. I’ve been living on mineral samples and sunlight. Please send help.

Tia Radford ’92

I remember on the first day of neurobiology, Dr. Grobstein’s lecture, and slowly realizing that the brain he was holding up the whole time was dripping and, therefore, must be a real human brain.

Deepak Kumar

That was a real brain. In a class he co-taught with me (Biologically Inspired Models of Learning), he passed it around the room. Everyone held it, thought it was creepily real. Later, after class, he confirmed that it was.

Stephanie Nebel ’05 

The hours I spent in Don Barber’s office discussing everything from strontium isotope analysis to surfing. We spent hours talking over the years, and I learned so much from these interactions. One of the most valuable (and perhaps unique) aspects of the Bryn Mawr education is the personal relationships that develop between students and teachers. These relationships defined for me what education should be, and I strive to incorporate this into my own teaching today.