Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Springing with the SciSchmooze

Minuscule Beach

Hi Fellow Supporters of Science and Reason,

Did you feel it? It happened at 0833 (PDT) this morningMarch 20 also marks another woefully misnamed holiday this year, first declared by the UN in 2012. The “aim” is good but seems so far distant in these times. March 22-25 are more days that hopefully will be uplifting. Spring seems like the most hopeful of seasons to me. If you are interested in a larger picture of what the various aspects of climate change look like, I suggest that you search around the Climate Truths Deep Dive a new series of deeper reads from multiple perspectives. Do you think climate change is anything less than at least one of the top challenges facing us?

One of the really interesting things to me these days is how people come to think they know something really well. We all do it, but how often to we actually question what we think we know or check the source of our belief? Here’s an article that opens the door to that question… Journalists tend to understate — not exaggerate — scientific findings So how do you get the info to inform your views, understanding and decisions? How do you validate it and why do you trust it?

So with the question of trust in sources here are a couple of sources for you to consider this week…

If you know me at all, you either think I don’t like kids, or know I have a small soft spot for them. Every once in awhile I get a chance to “engage” with some really cool kids while I’m on duty as a docent at the CalAcademy, and it is damn near magic! So even though it isn’t really about science, I hope you’ll take some time and watch this documentary… The Making of Preschool Poets think about getting kids to think about science. The Psychology of Messiness & Creativity Our single greatest defense against scientific ignorance is education, and early in the life of every scientist, the child’s first interest was sparked by a teacher.

Things aren’t always what they seem. When you look out over Monterey Bay you might not think that it is so strange under the surface. One of the things that NASA seems to do is “over engineer” their amazing machines. I’m sure that other agencies get frustrated when something that was intended for a relatively short life keeps on going. The latest example of that, as far as I know, is Ingenuity. It has now completed 21 flights and is still going strong!

To the larger question of science and basic science research… The scientists I know are incredibly creative. John Cleese has a short statement on creativity that I think speaks to science as well. (Here’s the long version.) Research never really stops. It just leads to more research by more curious people. Sometimes we think or hope that the end of some is near but often there is a need for more after some think it’s been figured out. For instance… While we hope the worst is over you should probably keep your mask near by.

With that said, I hope that you have a great week learning new and cool things about how this amazing universe works,
herb masters

“Now in the 21st century, the boundaries separating chemistry, physics, and medicine have become blurred, and as happened during the Renaissance, scientists are following their curiosities even when they run beyond the formal limits of their training.”

“There is an anti-science by the far right. We have to be careful that the far left doesn’t balance this with a naive approach of promising what we can’t deliver. I mean, science is neutral; it’s not politically conservative or liberal.”
Peter Agre

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