Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

SciSchmoozing Bay Area Science

by Meenakshi Prabhune

Hello Science fans,

Hope you all are safe from the raging Camp Fire, one of the most devastating wildfires that California has ever seen. It is sad to watch the trail of destruction helplessly on news; one can only hope that we will get through this tragedy soon and try to help those affected in whatever way we can. Also, while wildfires are not necessarily caused by climate change, their severity is certainly linked to it. If you are looking for more information around this association, here’s a good article.

Speaking of wildfires, you must have noticed the terrible air quality around you, worrying if it might harm your health. I want to take this opportunity to point out the resemblance of this day-to-day side effect with passive smoking – it’s beyond your control but could harm the health. I recently wrote this piece based on two recent studies pointing to how second-hand smoking impacts teen health – long term and short term. So, adults, please don’t smoke around kids or other adults!

Moving on to the general topic of science education – I realize that I often rely heavily on articles for gaining or spreading knowledge. Recently, I started paying more attention to podcasts, particularly because I wanted to start new podcast for my company, Synthego (a local biotech company). I realized while recording our first few episodes that it is so much more difficult to talk about science accurately than write about it (hats-off to regular podcasters who manage this task easily without sounding overdramatic or robotic). Anyway, if you are looking to understand more about CRISPR, the gene editing technique that has been in the news in the recent few years, do check out my podcast, CRISPR Cuts. If you are into science podcasts in general, here’s a nice compilation of the best science podcasts out there. It’s a great way to learn while doing mundane things, such as commuting.

Of course, workshops and events are another way of learning. Just before I move on to my pick of events for this week, here’s an interesting program for learning about engineering and technology with your children. Finally, my choice of events in the upcoming week:

  1. Community Free Day at Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Tuesday, 11/13/18, Santa Cruz
  2. Film Screening with the International Ocean Film Festival – “Souls of the Vermilion Sea”, Thursday 11/15/18, Tiburon
  3. Jazz Under the Stars, Saturday, 11/17/18, San Mateo

Have a curious week ahead!
Science writer and journalist

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