Thursday, February 11, 2010

Telling your stories better

Last Thursday, in a golden era where there wasn't 40 inches of snow on the ground, Dr. Chad Orzel (who writes Uncertain Principles) gave a talk on talking about science to the general public, on the whys and hows and especially, again, the whys. "The more people understand, the more people will support" was his main theme, which is probably true. There is also the undeniable fact that the more people understand, the more informed decisions they will be able to make (supporting may end up to be one of those decisions). As to the how, there is no controversy and only what you might call pedagogical problems in talking or writing about some areas of science---"settled" areas and/or "uncontroversial" areas, let's say---but some areas have other problems.

For instance, evolutionary biology has to fight over the same ground again and again and again and again because every single person that comes up with the "question" "If we descended from chimpanzees, why are chimpanzees still around? Har har har," thinks that they were the first person to come up with this question. [1]

As for climate change science... Theirs is the hardest patch to hoe. And they are aware of it, which makes for our first link today.

Next is something cool, both literally and figuratively: Time lapse photography of "Snowmageddon" 2010, the snowfall of February 5 and 6 in the Washington DC area. What happens to the trees in the beginning is seriously creepy. Later, it looks like the camera is panning down---it is not.

Finally, something funny: Neil Gaiman facts.

[1] Hint: They aren't. Hint 2: The question's premise is entirely wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment