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BBC Four – Surviving Progress August 10, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science, Public History.
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Documentary telling the double-edged story of the grave risks we pose to our own survival in the name of progress. With rich imagery the film connects financial collapse, growing inequality and global oligarchy with the sustainability of mankind itself. The film explores how we are repeatedly destroyed by ‘progress traps’ – alluring technologies which serve immediate need but rob us of our long term future.

via BBC Four – Surviving Progress.

 

<<Sandy Note: Very good…echoes of Dr. Bowles class on the History of Science.  BBC does a good job of presenting thoughtful programs on science. >>

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Crowdfunding – Darwin’s theory of evolution – Painting and Comics – Lanzanos August 9, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science.
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Description

Several years ago, to mark the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, published a comic for primary school children entitled Darwin’s theory of evolution, a brief biography of this British naturalist. Later, and following this publication, we created an entire project of biographical comic book series aimed at kids scientists. The CSIC was interested in it, and quickly put him on one of its programs to develop outreach projects. But with the advent of the crisis and cuts, our project was canceled and was forgotten. Now, we intend to take it forward, again using the comic delivery and Darwin as the first champion from the rest of the series in our small publisher believe that the comic is a great way for children to get used to read and also to learn and assimilate in a pleasant and entertaining historical concepts and basic scientists. The comics will be a 24×17 format, with between 36 and 48 inside pages in full color and hardcover binding. will be made ​​jointly by Jordi Bayarri, author and publisher of comics, winner of Best Screenplay Expocomic national, the International Comic Madrid in 2004 and the First Graphic Novel Prize “Drawing between cultures” of the Three Cultures Foundation in 2009, and Tayra Lanuza, Ph.D. in history of science and research postdoctoral CSIC.

via Crowdfunding – Darwin’s theory of evolution – Painting and Comics – Lanzanos.

http://coleccioncientificos.blogspot.com.es/

 

NYT: New Fossils Indicate Offshoots August 9, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science.
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An assessment of recent finds at Olduvai as well as the 1470 fossil, by Ronald J. Clarke of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, was published recently in a special issue of The Journal of Human Evolution.

“So where do we go from here?” Dr. Wood asked in his commentary. “More work needs to be done using the faces and lower jaws of modern humans and great apes to check how different the shapes and the palate can be among individuals in living species.”

All in all, the state of hominin affairs that paleoanthropologists are left with is neatly summed up in the title of Dr. Wood’s article, “Facing Up to Complexity.” He concluded with the prediction that “by 2064, 100 years after Leakey and colleagues’ description of H. habilis, researchers will view our current hypotheses about this phase of human evolution as remarkably simplistic.”

via NYT: New Fossils Indicate Offshoots.

Advocacy (National Humanities Alliance) August 8, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History Job Market, History of Science, Politics, Public History.
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Please write your Members of Congress and ask them to support the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by opposing cuts to the agency’s funding in the FY 2013 House Interior Appropriations bill.

 

The bill was marked up by the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on June 20th and includes $132 million in funding for NEH. This represents a $14 million cut from the FY 2012 level of $146 million and is $22 million less than the President’s budget request of $154 million.

via Advocacy (National Humanities Alliance).

 

<<From AHA email: “ In the broader context that we historians consider significant, the NEH budget was $172 million in 1995, and is approximately one-third of its level three decades ago when adjusted for inflation. “>>

14 Wacky “Facts” Kids Will Learn in Louisianas Voucher Schools | Mother Jones August 8, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science, Politics, Science Center News.
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Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensacola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based “facts,” such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesnt have to.

via 14 Wacky “Facts” Kids Will Learn in Louisianas Voucher Schools | Mother Jones.

The Philosophical Roots of Science Fiction August 8, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science.
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Philosophical Thought Experiments As Science Fiction

Science fiction is a genre that uses strange worlds and inventions to illuminate our reality — sort of the opposite of a lot of other writing, which uses the familiar to build a portrait that cumulatively shows how insane our world actually is. People, especially early twenty-first century people, live in a world where strangeness lurks just beyond our frame of vision — but we can’t see it by looking straight at it. When we try to turn and confront the weird and unthinkable that’s always in the corner of our eye, it vanishes. In a sense, science fiction is like a prosthetic sense of peripheral vision.

via The Philosophical Roots of Science Fiction.

ScienceOnline2012 – interview with Trevor Owens | A Blog Around The Clock, Scientific American Blog Network August 7, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science, Public History.
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I come to science from a historical bent; my BA is in the history of science. More specifically, I started out working on the history of science education. I wrote my thesis on the history of children’s books about Einstein and Curie. More recently I have been doing research on science communication and public understanding of science in places like gaming communities, or in discussions of statues on Yelp.

via ScienceOnline2012 – interview with Trevor Owens | A Blog Around The Clock, Scientific American Blog Network.

 

<<Sandy Note:  Shortlist an interview with this guy.>>

Scanner located on UT campus allows scientists to scan and research nearly anything | The Daily Texan August 7, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science, Public History, Science Center News.
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Timothy Rowe, geology professor and director of the Digital Morphology Group, said the technique allows for unprecedented access to an organism’s structure.

“This has allowed us to examine some of the oldest and rarest species available to us without having to damage the specimen, which a museum curator wouldn’t let us do anyway,” Rowe said.

According to the UT Digital Morphology library website, the X-ray CT scanner is located in the center of the University’s High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility, and has amassed “nearly a terabyte of imagery of natural history specimens that are important to education and central to ongoing cutting-edge research efforts. The scanner has analyzed specimens ranging from fossils and modern organisms, to meteorites and rocks.”

via Scanner located on UT campus allows scientists to scan and research nearly anything | The Daily Texan.

Exhibit focuses on scientists’ role in Holocaust – AP State Wire News – The Sacramento Bee August 7, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science, Public History, Science Center News.
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It shows a young, blindfolded couple at the edge of a jagged precipice. The German-language text says “Don’t go blindly into marriage!”

The image is in a section of the display about mainstream ideas from which Adolph Hitler’s twisted policies grew.

Dr. Benjamin Sachs, dean of the Tulane University School of Medicine, says the exhibit shows “there was a slippery path toward the extermination program.” He says it holds important lessons for today.

via Exhibit focuses on scientists’ role in Holocaust – AP State Wire News – The Sacramento Bee.

University of Florida scientists will be using modern technology to get a glimpse into the lives of animals that roamed the planet 2 million years ago | Gainesville.com August 7, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in History of Science, Science Center News.
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University of Florida scientists will be using modern technology to get a glimpse into the lives of animals that roamed the planet 2 million years ago.

Earlier this month, the researchers received a $455,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to digitize animal skeletons through high-resolution digital photography and 3-D scanners.

via University of Florida scientists will be using modern technology to get a glimpse into the lives of animals that roamed the planet 2 million years ago | Gainesville.com.