"Wonderfest" is an annual Bay Area science festival featuring talks and discussions about science. Held in the fall on adjacent days at Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley, the 2008 Wonderfest was particularly well attended. For those of you who were unable to attend, you now can see three of the discussions online.
Go to www.wonderfest.org
Does Anything Happen at Random?
A discussion between Persi Diaconis, Prof. of Statistics & Mathematics, Stanford and Daniel Fisher, Prof. of Applied Physics, Stanford
Will Genetics Allow Us to Revive Extinct Species?
A discussion between Ronald Davis, Prof. of Biochemistry & Genetics, Stanford and David Haussler, Prof. of Biomolecular Engineering, UC Santa Cruz
Are Dreams Psychologically Significant?
A discussion between William Dement, Prof. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Stanford and Sharon Keenan, Founder, School of Sleep Medicine, Palo Alto
Wednesday November 19, at 4 pm:
"Your Fiction Science Defense Kit: Dealing with Astrology, UFO's, and Other Astronomical Pseudo-sciences"
A non-technical talk by Andrew Fraknoi, Foothill College
Harney Science Center, Room 127
University of San Francisco
Physics and Astronomy Department Colloquium;
free and open to educators and students.
For a campus map, see:
(Please allow yourself time to park and find the room. Street parking around campus is not always easy to find.)
An enormous amount of media attention has been given to some pretty amazing claims on the fringes of astronomy. These include the idea that your life path and romantic destiny are determined by the position of objects in the sky at the moment of your birth; that extraterrestrial space-craft have regularly landed on our planet (and kidnapped innocent citizens without being noticed); and that an ancient race left us a message on the planet Mars in the shape of a human face.
In this illustrated talk, astronomer and popular lecturer Andrew Fraknoi will discuss the most famous "fiction science" claims related to astronomy, and provide the background and analysis needed to appreciate them properly. He will share some rece