Contextualizing Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship connecting Mindset to Skillset — Bahram Roughani, Randy Jones Physics education faces challenges in student engagement. This can be due to the techno-centric approach in physics education with little or no attention devoted to exploring the relationship between physics concepts and human needs. To enhance engagement we may need to… Continue reading Science Talk 9: Entrepreneurship, Quantum
A single medium-sized asteroid can contain more gold and platinum than all of Earth. How do we keep the first giant hunk of space gold from crashing the world’s commodities markets? How might speculative technologies lead to creation of markets for asteroid resources?
Mathematical Models of the Spread of Diseases, Opinions, Information, and Misinformation — Mason A. Porter Social networks have a huge effect on the spread of diseases, memes, opinions, and information in a population. In this presentation, I’ll give an introduction to the mathematical modeling of the spread of both diseases and opinions. I’ll also discuss… Continue reading Science Talk 14 — Mathematical Models
Or, why should you let your kids eat dirt? This panel addresses the necessary microbes in the biomes of our homes and workplaces. How do germs really spread? Does disinfecting our homes with Lysol-type cleansers destroy the helpful bacteria that kill germs? Do plants really clean the air? Why is it important to spend time… Continue reading Are We Keeping Our Homes Too Clean?
Exoplanets — Padi Boyd In 1992 the first planet orbiting a star other than our Sun was discovered. Since then, almost 5000 planets in 3600 systems have been added to our catalogue of exoplanets. We will discuss the latest findings and marvel at the variety (and new types) of worlds that exist. Exoplanet Worldbuilding in… Continue reading Science Talk 2: Telescopes and Exoplanets
David Shaw Look at the ingredient list of your favorite and ultra-premium ice cream. What is all that stuff, and what does it contribute to what should be a simple concoction of dairy, sugar, flavoring, and air? How does temperature affect the texture of ice cream, and why is ice the absolute last thing you… Continue reading Science Considered as a Helix of Semicold Cones
Black Holes for Fun and Profit — Katie Mack Our understanding of black holes has increased dramatically, and we’ve discovered entire populations of them that defy our current best astronomical explanations. I’ll give an overview of the science of black holes and an up-to-date summary of what we’ve learned through gravitational waves, observations of the… Continue reading Science Talk 10: Telescopes and Radio Waves
Why is Lt. Uhura’s costume at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture? How did the National Air and Space Museum come to display both the 11-foot studio model of Star Trek‘s Starship Enterprise and a full-size T-70 X-wing vehicle from Star Wars? Join Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, a curator and the chair of the… Continue reading Space Science Fiction at the Smithsonian
Speculative fiction stories often feature societies in which a healthy lifespan stretches over multiple centuries. What is the scientific plausibility of such lifespans or life-extending technologies? How is access to longevity likely to be distributed? What impact would artificially-extended lifespans have on culture and the environment?
Evolution is the foundational concept of biology. Unfortunately, in the popular imagination and in public discourse (including within science fiction and fantasy media), misconceptions abound regarding what evolution is, how it works, and its implications for human origins, diversity, and identity. In this panel, three biological anthropologists will identify and discuss common misconceptions about human… Continue reading Misconceptions about Human Origins and Evolution