Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Time Shifting with the SciSchmooze

Welcome Time Science Jumpers,

Depending on how you look at it, is it the same time or are we now living in a different time? If you are tired of the rain you got to skip an hour of it last night! I have mentioned in the past the question about what time is it on the moon. You may have seen more about it recently. Time was measured much differently in 1969! This might be another way to manage time also.

Something very timely this week is π Day. Here’s the π Day Challenge Did you know that π has been memorized out to more than 70K digits but NASA only uses π out to 15 decimal places? Historically the best place to celebrate π Day is in San Francisco at the explOratorium where π Day was first celebrated.

Of course there are many cool things coming this week. May I point out a few?

A Fireside Chat with President Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi and Steven Chu Mon @ 4:30
Pi (π) Day Tue 11 to 3
The Birth of the Science Communicator – Livestream Thu @ 4
Conversations About Landscape Thu @ 6

I have always wanted to hear more about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how science works and is done. Check out Unlocking the Sun: Spectroscopy in the 1800’s Fri @ 7:30 if your interested too.

New research on Octopus Paxarbolis is bringing up some new lessons about science or information literacy. We really do need to push for teaching critical thinking when confronted with so much bad science or the misrepresentation of science. (And then there’s Fox not-the-news!)

The history of science is filled with many stories of how scientists overcame ignorance and opposition to their research and work. Recently I was reminded of the story of Nikolai Vavilov. Seed banks like the one in Svalbard aren’t a new thing. Here’s another interesting take on science and the good of humanity. One part of the discussion was when doing research that will have direct impact on people or animals some may pay a very high price for being in the control group. There were many mentions of the angst of the researcher committing some people to have to endure pay the price. The other side of this though is that if the research and development wasn’t done, many in the test group and the rest of the population would never have the benefit. I really recommend a listen to The Great Vaccinator. Here’s another take on research on humans… Lack of diversity in clinical trials

Here’s one more article about how some famous people continued to make science after their public identity faded from the news… Tuskegee Airmen Left a Lasting Legacy in Service and Science

I haven’t seen it yet, but everything I have heard makes me hopeful for an Oscar for All That Breathes. If you have seen it, let us know what you think. I’m hoping to see it soon.

One last thing. I know of two science education organizations/museum/zoos that have taken a big hit in the storms of the last few months. Of course every science teaching institution could use some extra help but if you are so inclined, take out a membership and visit CuriOdyssey and Oakland Zoo. I’m sure that many more could use the help. Give it now.

Have another damp week loving science and if appropriate, the one you’re with!
herb masters

“Fifty years from now, if an understanding of man’s origins, his evolution, his history, his progress is not the commonplace of schoolbooks, we shall not exist…And I am deeply saddened to find myself surrounded in the West by a sense of terrible loss of nerve, a retreat from knowledge into—into what? Into Zen Buddhism; into falsely profound questions about “Are we not just animals at bottom”; into extra-sensory perception and [pseudo] mysteries.” They do not lie along the line of what we are now able to know if we devote ourselves to it: and understanding of man himself. We are nature’s unique experiment to make the rational intelligence prove itself sounder than the reflex.” Pseudoscience’s Constant Appeal in the Shadow of Beautiful Science

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