Friday, July 10, 2009

Scientists Called to Action

Marine scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum, a research associate in Stuart Pimm's group at the Nicholas School of the Environment, is the co-author of a provocative new book that has just come out, "UNSCIENTIFIC AMERICA: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future."

She argues that in an age of global warming, energy crisis, nuclear proliferation, and health pandemics, we probably need science and scientists more than ever. But American public support for the scientific enterprise is slipping, according to the latest Pew Research numbers, and the general public is more than a little hazy about what science is and what it does.

The book's prescription: Broaden the concept of science education from K-12 level through grad school to give ALL students a basic appreciation of science, ie. get into the process, not just the disembodied facts and definitions of standardized tests. And two, scientists need to get out there with the public and become ambassadors and communicators. (Music to our ears!)

Kirshenbaum and co-author Chris Mooney also blog together on this and other topics at "The Intersection."

Kirshenbaum will be preaching the gospel at a pair of upcoming book signings in the area:

Thursday, July 23 at 7:30 pm
Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh
3522 Wade Avenue, near Meredith College
(919) 828-1588

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
The Regulator Bookshop in Durham
720 Ninth St
(919) 286-2700

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Videos from Costa Rica

Rising sophomore Tiff Shao has been in Costa Rica on a summer semester with the Organization for Tropical Studies, and she's keeping a blog with great writing and beautiful images.

Today she posted a passel of short videos, including some spectacular bug life.

View Costa Rica - OTS in a larger map