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  1. Okay, so full disclosure on my background. I am (Was? I'm an adult now) a child genius. The sort that reads by three, plays the cello and had an unnecessarily deep love for sewage treatment plants throughout most of their childhood.
    I still like sewers. Sewers are cool.
    Anyway, when I was about 12 I met a doctor of microbiology at one of our local universities and she helped me with research that is actually legit (?) and still used in multiple sewer districts when discussing quality controls (in retrospect this was why my social life stalled until I reached military school and bonded with my teammates through suffering)
    That experience changed my life. STEM education, mentorship, and actively learning in the field are like, my favorite things in the world an that's why I support the whole Irondad thing so much.
    One thing, though, that has always bothered me in fics is that a lot of the time the author is limited in their ability to write people like Peter Parker and Tony Stark because they're not educated enough in STEM subjects to really say what they want to. A good example is that often in the Stereotypical Field Trip Fic, Peter is asked to help a scientist who is confused about why their equation isn't working and then fixes it in five minutes by finding a basic math error--the sort of error that the author (especially if they're in high school) might make. And yes, that's accessible to them, but it's really not the sort of error that a scientist in the field would make.
    I should know, because a lot of the math he's 'fixing' for them is stuff I can do in my head in about four seconds. (not ragging on the authors, creative abilities are nothing to scoff at, but it can break immersion for me)
    Anyway, that inability to suspend my disbelief for bad science combined with a ridiculous amount of passion for the Tony Stark Story (tm) and the MCU's proliferation of Young Scientists makes me really nitpicky about what I put in.
    I have a background in biology, chemistry, and engineering. I fix airplanes and computers for fun and once got so sick of the stupid music coming over the loudspeakers at a fireworks show that I MacGuyvered an EMP to take them out. Anyway, what that all means that if I were to bullshit my way through some technobabble instead of really committing to a good bit of research I would never be able to live with myself as an author.
    In conclusion: Peter Parker is a genius. Tony Stark is a genius, and even if it takes nine hours and a bit of wifi hacking, I'm going to show the world how awesome that is.
    Sorry for the rant, I'm passionate about good science in books. Like the Martian. Mark Watney's character reigns supreme.

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    1. !!!!! I appreciate the rant so much holy shit !!! That experience when you were 12 sounds so incredible? I have a distant appreciation for physical sciences, but I never felt like I could get into those subjects in higher ed because of my poor math education in high school. I nearly went into Biomed Engineering my freshman year at uni, but again the math courses required scared me off from core STEM. Not gonna lie though, now I'm a bit more motivated to check out engineering again - probably not for official recognition at this point, but just for personal learning... I mean of course it's a relatively spur of the moment thought, but I really appreciate you sharing your experiences because it's just a bit more motivation to, at the very least, check those concepts out.

      Aside from pure engineering too, I've always loved bio - I wouldn't be opposed to learning more about even microbiology as a discipline - I totally stand by your statement!! I bet sewers are a lot more cool than I've ever thought to give them credit for

      At any rate though! I definitely agree with the limited background in terms of writing the Irondad mentorship. Part of my hesitancy in delving into anything medical in fic is wanting to do it justice but knowing I wouldn't be able to - 100% understand the immersion aspect! All forms of creativity are incredible and it's clear people enjoy fics for story and characters, but I think getting the details right elevates a story every time. Especially in the MCU mentorship fics! Speaking of the tendency towards young scientists + your enjoyment writing those stories, what do you think about Shuri? Do you want to incorporate her into works or stick mainly to Peter for the mentorship aspect?

      Again though, rant is so appreciated! It's really heartening to see the passion that goes into the scientific background like you mention. Especially with your EMP shenanigans? Thats. Incredible. I'd say I wish I had that knowledge already but more than just wishing for it, now I'm inspired to go out and learn myself (thank you!) And !! hi, The Martian is one of my favorite books - again, most of it probably goes over my head in comparison - but both the writing style and the content have made me a big fan of it since I first read it! I was lucky enough to find a signed hard copy at my local bookstore, it's up there in my most treasured possessions

      I know this is a bit (very... apologies) long, but I'm just really heartened by learning about everything! You also kicked off my realizing that I should pursue my interest in those STEM subjects more, even if its slow going at first. So thank you again for both incorporating that into your writing, and being willing to share about your own interests!!

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      1. Yeah STEM! I think a lot of people get overly scared, but most of it is closer to a puzzle like a rubix cube than a multivariable calculus equation.

        Anywhoo, about Shuri. I love Shuri. I worship Shuri. Shuri is a queen. I some deep problems with her fanon (it doesn't show up as much in canon) character. Because here's the thing.
        Shuri is not the smartest in the MCU.
        I feel like a lot of the times people want to turn things into a weird sort of list with Shuri on top and a row of scientists going down in the smartness rankings, but I really hate that. There can be multiple smart people. There can be multiple geniuses. There can be multiple ideas, and just because someone has better resources (vibranium) and a higher tech starting point doesn't mean they're actually a better engineer. Like, I'm willing to bet Bruce Banner is better at bioengineering because Shuri isn't a bioengineer and he is. So when fics have like... 8 geniuses standing around with a problem and they go "If we go to Wakanda the genius there will totally solve it instantly".
        That infuriates me, because you know what, Helen Cho's cradle is just as good as the Wakandan bead-things they stick in bullet wounds, and those weren't even invented by Shuri. I feel like a lot of the time Shuri's presence in a fic makes everyone else instantly incompetent (almost like when Intern!Peter walks into a lab and corrects a basic math problem...)
        That's Helen Cho, Jane Foster, Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner (And a myriad of other characters--hell even Stephen Frikking Strange or Rocket Racoon) erasure, and I'm not okay with that.
        Nobody is smartest, they're all just smart in different ways.

        Anyway, Shuri will show up in MPDC. She'll be badass, she'll be brilliant, and she'll have a deep appreciation for the work of other scientists instead of lording her vibranium over them. And they'll have a deep appreciation for her because intelligence isn't a contest, unless you're competing for who can make the coolest sci-fi weapon in real life (which is a thing that will happen in this fic)

        Basically, the book is mostly about Tony and Peter, but not to exclusion. Most of the other relationships will happen, but they'll be in the background. For example, I will reference time spent with Ned or May or MJ, but they won't physically show up unless it's important to the plot or as the setting for something else in the plot.

        So exiting to hear somebody get excited about science. I'm sure you'll do great, and I'd love to hear about what you're learning (:

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