Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

A new decade with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Happy New Decade Science Fans,

I hope that whatever you celebrated over the last few weeks was great.  I was amazed at how busy things were in the science museums.  It was great to see families learning together and enjoying it.  There are a lot of great opportunities for families to go out and explore together both indoors and outdoors.  We love to have family friendly listings in the SciSchmooze.  If you know of some that we don’t list, please have the folks putting the activity on submit it to us and we’ll get it posted. 

I’m always amazed at how many retrospective emails I get at the end of the year, decade, or even the millennium!  I suspect that most of you reading this are old enough to remember the last millennium!  I hope we can agree and appreciate what the folks in the world of science accomplish.  I’m not going to create another list of the best of anything, 3,190,000,000 hits is just too many to list!  However I would encourage you to check out these 15 images.  I’m sure that you have seen and heard the reporting on the fires in Australia.  I’m afraid we are going to hear of many more horrible “natural disasters” as we move in to the consequences of climate change. 

You probably know someone who wonders why is every species important and why it should be protected, or even doesn’t care.  In many cases just don’t know enough to understand how a single organism be it microscopic and undiscovered or unknown, or a large animal that destroys crops.  This weekend Scott Simon said it very eloquently.  (I hope you have time to listen to it.)  There are many challenges to getting what we think is “important and true” generally accepted!  Here’s a film worth a watch as well… Wolf Pack  OK, one more article that won’t cheer you up…  This decade has made it clear: Humans are killing Earth’s great biodiversity.

There are lots of opportunities popping up for learning here in the Bay Area.  Here are few that I think warrant your attention…

  1. Sustainability by Design: Innovation for a Circular Economy  Tue  6:00 San Francisco
  2. After Dark: Tactile  Thu 6:00 San Francisco
  3. The Hidden World of Vibrations  Sat 11:00 Berkeley

Are you Concerned About Climate Change? – Want to be part of the solution?  I have said it before, getting involved is the best way to help create change.  There are a lot of opportunities at many places in the Bay Area.  I think you should check this one out.  Even if you don’t live in SF and want to do something in your community this will give you some good info.  For what it’s worth, I have been a docent at the CalAcademy for over 10 years; I think you might enjoy it.  Lessons for a Young Scientist: A masterclass on what science needs now.

On a sad note, skeptics and supporters of science and reason in the Bay Area and beyond lost one of their great advocates for science and reason.  Daniel Sabsay was an amazing man who died too early.  If you ever met Daniel it is pretty sure that you remember him.  He would always be ready to discuss some aspect of science or pseudoscience.  Here’s a sample of how he would “engage”…   Only “legitimate psychics” need apply.  Daniels friends are working on a memorial to happen in the next couple of months. 

Have a great week and learn cool new things as well as stuff many have known all along!

herb masters

“I think, too, that we’ve got to recognize that where the preservation of a natural resource like the redwoods is concerned, that there is a common sense limit. I mean, if you’ve looked at a hundred thousand acres or so of trees—you know, a tree is a tree, how many more do you need to look at?”— Ronald Reagan

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