A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the need for museums (I would include schools in this as well) to stand up to bad, fake, false, or pseudo-science as well as support, promote, and teach real science. I did get some responses to what I mentioned. I received one in particular that really hit home. It was from the son of Tom and Marlene Dickerman, both docents at the California Academy of Sciences that I was privileged to work with. I think it is a better statement than any I have made. So here it is…
I had discussed with both my parents, for quite some time, how the CAS (California Academy of Sciences) needs a permanent exhibit explaining how discern provable fact from conjecture, fable, and (for fans of the musical The Book of Mormon) metaphor. With mom on the evolution cart, and dad discussing climate change, each saw their share of debate on topics which are widely considered indisputable.
There is a resistance to scientific acceptance which is
Robots and drones are perennially in the news. Two of them caught my interest this week. This video of a person-sized robot has been viewed about 8 million times. This microswimmer is smaller than a human cell and is remotely controlled; it is aimed using a magnetic field and is propelled by ultrasound. Impressively, technology marches on.
If you watch TV, you’ve seen slick ads by Big Pharma and by the fossil fuel industry priming us to be more forgiving of their avarice. I stumbled upon this slick ad while browsing the Internet, but it is from NASA. I’m guessing they are preparing us for upcoming higher taxes for
This past week has brought us another reminder of our fragile existence here on the planet. The Sonoma County fires and the PG&E blackouts should serve as a reminder that we should all have disaster kits that are up to date. Our thoughts are with those affected by the fires, blackouts, and evacuations. Several events, including the North Bay Discovery Days event for the Bay Area Science Festival were canceled because of the fires. Always check the weblink in our listings for any last minute changes or cancellations.
I've got a lot of interesting articles to share with you, but first, here are my picks for events this week:
There are not one but two festivals this coming week for your enjoyment.
The first is the Art + Tech Festival which combines art and science for a variety of events and workshops held this coming weekend. See our listings for pricing and 20% off discount codes.
The second is the annual Bay Area Science Festival, with over 40 different events taking place starting Friday and running through the grand finale Discovery Days at Oracle Park on November 2.
While we're big fans of the Bay Area Science Festival, I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed in the event schedule this year. Almost all of them take place in San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkeley. Only one is in San Jose. The number of lectures is quite limited and most of those are regular series events that seem to be re-branded for the Festival instead of being something special. As usual there are many tours, but the majority of them only deal in the biological and genetic sciences. Gone are the trivia contests and comedic events of past years (they weren't part of last year's festival either). The number of adult-oriented events is limited, which is great for kids, but not so great for adults. I'm not saying you should not go, just that I hope
There is increasing evidence that a ninth planet existsway out there orbiting our Sun. (Apologies to Pluto, formerly the ninth planet but now considered to be a Kuiper Belt object.) Even if Planet 9 were five times the mass of Earth, as is estimated, it would be very difficult to find with our telescopes. Were it the same density as Earth, its diameter would be 1.7 times that of Earth, or 21,800 km (13,500 miles). A pair of astronomers suggest that we should not rule out the possibility that Planet 9 could be a primordia
"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!” If you have heard these words before, you know what I am talking about. This is my favorite part of Greta Thunberg’s hard-hitting speech at the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept 23rd. The clarity of thought, honesty, and bravery of this 16-year-old totally amazes me.
While Greta has a point that she should be in school and not leading an activist movement, her conviction has successfully mobilized the community to stand up against climate change. A year ago, Greta started a Climate Strike at her school on Fridays to bring about awareness around the stagnant policies despite the climate-related dangers that face us.
About a year later, on Friday, 20th September, millions of people were out on the street participating in the Climate Strike. Participation in the strike was overwhelming worldwide, as seen from the
It has been quite a week, month, or even year! I find it stunning that there can be so many actions taken by our government that are directly in contradiction with the evidence and experience that have been acquired recently and in history. That combined with the protests and opposition from some sections of the public just adds to my stunned outlook. Just consider in the last few weeks… 3 Essential Questions For Good Public Health Policy, Do Homeopathic Cows Exist?, Rivers used to cat