More pseudoscience with the SciSchmooze 5.22.17

Greetings Science Fans and Geeks,

Wow what a week. Not just in politics either. I’ll get the politics out of the way first. The US Senate has a bill starting to work its way through the system that warrants our attention. The Scientific Integrity Act in part says:

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It is the sense of Congress that—
(1) independent, impartial science and the scientific process should inform and guide public policy decisions on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health, protection of the environment, and protection of national security;
(2) the public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions;
(3) science, the scientific process, and the communication of science should be free from political, ideological, or financial influence; and
(4) policies and procedures that ensure the reliable conduct and communication of publicly funded science are critical to ensuring public trust.

* * * * *

I know that most of you missed it but you might still be able to get a sense of it. I’m talking about...

Andrew Fraknoi 'performs' with the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra this past weekend. It was a real treat. This gives you a sense of it but it is only 'sort of good.' You might do better to put this on your TV and play better music with it: Professor Fraknoi may be retiring but I think we will still have many opportunities to learn from him and enjoy is passion. Sometimes the art and the science are so complimentary.

I’ve been hoping to see some numbers to see if the March for Science was the largest global science event in history. Apparently it was! In San Francisco the estimate is 50,000 marchers, half of what Washington DC had! In San Francisco, a combination of aerial footage was used with time lapse. That’s amazing. It was an amazing day. Kudos to Kishore Hari and all of the locals who worked on it as well as those around the world. It was a good day for science.

OK, a bit more politics: The way things are going this may be the next president and it isn’t encouraging at all.

Here are some hot talks to check out this week:

  1. Conversations About Landscape 6 PM Wednesday, San Francisco
  2. Underwater Secrets of the Hayward Fault Zone 7 PM Thursday, Menlo Park
  3. Popular Myths of Astronomy 8:30 PM Saturday, Mill Valley

Bonus- It will probably be a crowded house but still worth it: The Sky Event of the Decade 7 PM Thursday, Los Altos. Get your Fraknoi talk time while you can. He probably won’t be playing Holst though.

Last week I wrote a bit about pseudoscience, its problems, and risks. Several people commented on it so I’m adding a few more links for people to check out.

Another side of this is who pays for the research and who gets the benefit whether it heals someone or makes money. This is a nice video but it doesn’t say if what is learned by the research is open to the public or remains the property of the organization: The Value of Basic Scientific Research

Every once in awhile something pops up that really makes me reflect on the times I have grown up in. This story starts only 5 years before I was born. Capturing a Portrait of Humanity's Home

Have a great week learning new stuff!

herbert a. masters III
ScienceSchmoozer and a shameless promoter of:
the SciSchmooze @

“Art and science work in quite different ways: agreed. But, bad as it may sound, I have to admit that I cannot get along as an artist without the use of one or two sciences. ... In my view, the great and complicated things that go on in the world cannot be adequately recognized by people who do not use every possible aid to understanding.”
Bertolt Brecht

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