About that science thing, with the SciSchmooze 1.15.18

Greetings Science Fans,

I have to confess, I fell down the web hole this week, and this means there will be lots of links! It is such an incredible time to be alive. I think an important element of science is inquiry. This is the basis of the   scientific method. I think it is fair to say that since humans began keeping records there have always been mentions of wonder and not knowing what something is, what causes something, or how to do something. Throughout this time we have been discarding inadequate, bad, wrong, or outdated ideas. Dare I say that there are far fewer   gods worshipped now than in the past? I suggest that much of this can be attributed to the human desire to know the “truth” (subject to definition) about the universe we live in.

Some claim there is a war on   religion,   science,   truth,   media,   culture, etc. (As an aside, it is amazing how many references there are to either religion or Donald Trump when you google those war items!) I think it is fair to say there is still...

a strong   trust in science, with a few exceptions. Sadly there are enough public figures willing to sell bad science, bad and   possibly dangerous pseudomedicine,   ineffective or possibly dangerous health aides, and more. We all need to be able to   recognize these to protect our families and friends. We all benefit   if the general public has a better understanding of science.

There have been so many discoveries using science and advancing science over the years it is impossible to even begin to absorb more than a small portion of them. This would be the web hole I mentioned earlier. I’d like to share a few of my finds with you. (Please send some of your favorites to us hear at the SciSchmooze as well. I’m sure there are many more that we can all collectively filter for others.) The   quest to understand the universe will probably go on for many years, if not forever. Did you know that like the women in   Hidden Figures, there were the   Ladies of the Harvard Observatory in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s? It is yet another amazing story about women who have been key to science discovery and progress. Add this to your tablet or “smart” phone:   How Female Genius Changed the World, One Big Idea at a Time. When you are sitting or standing somewhere with a couple of minutes to spare watch one. I have no evidence to base this on but, I think the consequence of   Hidden Figures and   Ladies of the Harvard Observatory can be seen in   The Farthest! We are all richer because of the women in these views of history.

As always we have to make choices. Here are some suggestions for interesting, inspiring, and fascinating presentations this coming week.

  1.   An Evening with the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers Tue 7PM San Francisco
  2.   Quicksliver History Hike Sat 9AM San Jose
  3.   Made for Movies: From Poltergeist to Pirates of the Caribbean Sun 2PM San Francisco

Getting people involved and/or excited about science and reason is what I really like to do. I wish I could do it as well as some of these folks:
  E.O. Wilson: Advice to a young scientist
  Scientists having Fun (excerpted from The Great Debate:   THE STORYTELLING OF SCIENCE
  NASA Johnson Style
Watch them with someone you care about.

I’d also like to suggest that you consider getting involved with science. There are many ways to do this. Most people reading this probably live close to a museum or some form of science outreach project. There are folks volunteering in education both formally and informally. If you are looking for a job, volunteering is one of the best interviews you will ever have with an organization! There are citizen   science projects all around the planet. You can even walk into a lot of places and offer your talent to them even if they don’t have a regular volunteer program.

There are even groups that are looking for help with a special project. For instance, do you have any webpage skills using Drupal? The   Bay Area Skeptics could use a bit of help updating and enhancing their website. (Disclosure here… I am on the board!) Drop an email to us,   admin@baskeptics.org

So one last thing to ponder.   What exactly does “instantaneous” mean? OK one more…   How to Measure the Speed of Light With Lanterns, Wheels, and Planets

So this will actually be the last thing. I really hope you watch it.   The scientific method is crap:

Have a great week learning something new and celebrating science.

herbert a. masters III
ScienceSchmoozer and a shameless promoter of:
the SciSchmooze @   www.BayAreaScience.org

It’s not too late to learn… Life is NOT a Journey
—Alan Watts

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