Tonight was "Bones" night - and yes, I did want to watch it at first because it stars David Boreanaz, but I'm over that - it's a great show and the cast really clicks. I also look forward to "CSI" (the one in Las Vegas) and "NUMB3RS" every week. I'll throw "House" into the mix as well. I'm really happy there are more 'geeky' shows on. I hope they encourage young people to consider getting into scientific careers. It's initially what I wanted to do, even without the encouragement of prime time TV.
I brought it up in conversation with the spouse tonight, while watching "Bones", how as a child I had a very nice microscope set, an Invisible Woman, a chemistry set and got the Year Book Encyclopedia Science Year annuals. I wanted to grow up to be a scientist of some sort (maybe biology, I thought back then) and my parents were supportive. My brain however was not.
In High School came the realization that, in order to become a scientist, I'd need to really understand and do well at math. End of dream. Algebra was a nightmare. I only did well in the first part of Geometry where it's learning theorems and a doing lot of cool drawing with compass and protractor. Once we had to do the whole x and y and multiply this and divide that and square roots (yikes!), I was simply incapable of success. I didn't have the basic competency in math. Even now, remembering what 7x6 is gets me frowning. And we didn't have calculators then - I started High School in 1971.
I focused on my strengths and went on to get a BA in English in college. But I never lost my interest in science.
I have a passing acquaintance with a lot of scientific concepts from my reading, not only of hard SF, but I also keep an eye on a number of science blogs and sites. I lean a bit more to the tech stuff as it is relevant to my work but I also enjoy National Geographic (did you read about the giant mice?), Scientific American, and Nature.
I've also started reading regularly from a couple science blogs I've recently become aware of: Cosmic Variance and Pharyngula, which is one of the many blogs at Science Blogs. I hope to find more to add to my list.