Is There An Assault on Science?

Is There An Assault on Science?

Yesterday, I wrote a brief post introducing a new book by Shawn Otto entitled Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.  For the past four years, Otto has co-led Sciencedebate.org, a grassroots organization that has tried to influence the 2008 and the 2012 presidential elections.  The goal is to sponsor nonpartisan debates among candidates for the office of President of the United States.  The basis for Sciencedebate.org is reflected in this quote from their website:

By bringing candidates together with scientists, the media and the public in a safe and nonpartisan debate setting, science can be restored as an electoral value, a foundation of American democracy,  and a non-partisan basis for sound and effective policymaking, helping to “unstick” the United States from decades of paralysis on the largest policy challenges facing the country.

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AAAS Vigorously Opposes Attacks on Climate Change Researchers

Yesterday, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) published an open letter on its website with the headline: AAAS Board: Attacks on Climate Researchers Inhibit Free Exchange of Scientific Ideas.  In the letter, the Board said:

Scientists and policymakers may disagree over the scientific conclusions on climate change and other policy-relevant topics. But the scientific community has proven and well-established methods for resolving disagreements about research results. It uses a self-correcting system in which research results are shared and critically evaluated by peers, and experiments are repeated when necessary.

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Water on the Moon

NASA has reported that if astronauts heated lunar soil, it would yield water that could be purified and used for drinking, or separated into Oxygen and Hydrogen and used for rocket fuel.

NASA scientists, of  Project LCROSS, have reported that there is water in one of the moon’s craters, and that there is more water in this crater than there is in the Sahara Desert.  The water, in the form of ice crystals, makes up about 5 – 8% of the crater’s mixture.  … Read more

NASA’s Role in Inspiring Teachers and Youth

NASA, created by Congress and President Eisenhower on October 1, 1958, has played an important role in the hearts and minds teachers and their students. Although originally created as a national defense strategy, NASA’s space exploration missions have effectively inspired generations of people, not only in the U.S., but around the world.

I wanted to write about the recent announcements from NASA and the White House about the effect of the fiscal 2010 Federal Budget, and the implications for NASA.… Read more

Is there life out there?

NASA’s latest spacecraft, Kepler lifted off into a solar orbit but in a region close to earth.  It’s mission over the next 3 1/2 years is look for Earth-like planets by using a photometer that is very sensitive to variation in the light intensity emitted from stars.  According to Kepler project scientists on a NASA video , the goal of the project is to search the habitable zone, where they think there is water.  In their view, planets that have the right temperature; not too hot, not too cold—like Goldilocks.  … Read more

Launched! Endeavor Blast Off!

I witnessed one Space Shuttle launch in 1982, and it was an unbelievable experience.  The sounds that you hear, and the vibrations you feel are amazing.  Here are a few pictures of the Endeavor launch, on November 14, 2008.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lift off roll procedures, followed by a spec of light down range.

 

Water on Mars & Science Education Timeline

NASA announced today that water was discovered on the planet Mars. NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, through laboratory tests onboard the craft identified water in a soil sample retrieved by the lander’s robotic arm.  As NASA scientist’s pointed out, the presence of water increases the chance that there is or has been life on Mars.  Truly a significant event in the history of science.

Phoenix Mars Lander: Source–NASA

The University of Arkansas unveiled its interactive timeline, Science Education in the USA.… Read more