October 19, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
So much going on today at the Open Science Summit – my mind is crowded and its difficult to sort through thoughts of even what’s in front of me, to say nothing of the universe of what isn’t. Nonetheless, my commitment to the Kick-Off is often a welcome relief from the chaos of other thoughts. I like that I’ve promised to focus on a project and that each day, I get the chance to explore some of the most interesting and sometimes important work that needs funding today; I like finding projects that stand out to me – that I can find personal meaning and merit in. Today’s project plays harmoniously into several of my personal interests, and I hope to perhaps convince you to adopt some of my interests as your own. First and foremost, as a person fascinated by evolution and the selfishness of genes, I find today’s project to be exploring sexuality and reproduction (or lack of reproduction) in an important and novel way; a way in which I expect much to be revealed about the nature of sex, gender, reproduction and selection as a whole. Second, and only somewhat less importantly, this project is taking shape at a place I know and have fond feelings for: Michigan State University. Go Spartans and especially Go Spartan Scientists.
I’d love for you to check out today’s project about love, and to join me in backing it before October 26.
We want to make a video documentary about the development of human sexual orientation to explain these and many other scientific findings. Our working title, “Whom You Love: the biology of sexual orientation,” comes from an old saying, “Tell me whom you love, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Most of us find ourselves attracted to certain people, usually people of a certain sex, by a process that seems outside our control. For many, the sense that we are gay or straight or somewhere in between is an important part of our identity. The title also refers to the overall theme of the documentary–without discounting the importance of culture and experience in sexuality, Nature also has a say in whom you love.