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Editor's Blog

Welcome to the SB&F Editor's Blog. I am Maria Sosa, Editor-in-Chief of SB&F. Through this blog I hope to interact with the SB&F community and post news and information related to science books, videos, authors, opportunities and other topics of interest to our readers. I hope you find the blog useful and entertaining. Please, join the conversation by posting a comment on our Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!


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  • Today is the last day of Women’s History Month and tomorrow National Poetry Month begins. I know I’m not the only one who tries to mark these occasions while at the some time wondering if doing so somehow contributes to the compartmentalizing of things that we care about. But if it somehow helps to bring attention to things we care about, then I will continue to do so as long as I have a platform. It is in that spirit that I blog today about women’s science authors. Earlier this month on Huffington Post, Sten Oswald asked the question why there are so few science women popularizers? Well, in fact there is a shortage of female science popularizers, but men do seem to be more...      Read more...
  • “We the Geeks" is a new series of Google+ Hangouts to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States. Topics such as commercial space exploration, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, turning science fiction to science fact, and others will be discussed with Administration officials and key private sector contributors. They invite you to join the conversation using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks . Today at 1:00 p.m. ET, "We the Geeks" is hosting a new episode on women role models. The live Google+ Hangout will feature women and girl STEM leaders sharing their stories and advice to inspire young women to discover their...      Read more...
  • High school teachers interested in authentic learning experiences in STEM should check out the Lemelson-MIT Program: InvenTeam Initiative. The Lemelson-MIT Program awards InvenTeam grants of up to $10,000 to teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors who invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam chooses its own issue to address, and the students rely on inquiry and hands-on problem solving as they apply lessons from science, technology, engineering, and math to develop invention prototypes. InvenTeam projects span many fields, from assistive devices to environmental technologies and consumer goods. Science, math, and technology educators at high schools and...      Read more...
    Published 13 Jan 2014 12:09 PM by Maria Sosa
  • As the world’s population swells beyond 10 billion people later this century, what can we do to sustain the farmland, energy and water supplies needed to keep everyone fed? That’s the challenging question that Sustainable Food , a web-based toolkit, addresses with an anchor video and dozens of resources. The toolkit is a project of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. "We basically have to double the amount of food we produce over the next 50 to 60 years,” says John Floros, Ph.D, in the anchor video, called Feeding the World . “The question is, can we do that, and how should we do it?” Floros, dean of the College...      Read more...
    Published 9 Jan 2014 2:33 PM by Maria Sosa
  • SB&F and Science NetLinks are working together to create blog posts and resources that highlight the books that have selected as Finalists for the 2014 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize. The two AAAS programs have collaborated throughout the history of the prizes, thanks to generous sponsorship from Subaru. Each year Science NetLinks creates classroom-based resources that utilize the winning books. This year we have decided to shine a spotlight on all of the finalists throughout the year because we believe that all of the books on our shortlist deserve your attention. Recently, I blogged about Beyond the Solar System and Things that Float and Things that Don't . This week, NetLink's Maya...      Read more...
  • This is the second in a series of posts that takes a closer look at the 2014 Finalists for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize. Mary Kay Carson's Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More (Chicago Review Press, 2013) is sure to be a big hit with history of science buffs like me. She hooked me right away with the first few sentences of the Introduction: "The next time you look up at the 3,000 or so stars visible in the night sky, put yourself in the place of a prehistoric person. Looking up at all those little lights in the darkness, imagine what you think they are. Tiny, faraway campfires that never burn out? Flying creatures carrying torches?"...      Read more...
  • This is the first in a series of posts that takes a closer look at the 2014 Finalists for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize. Categories are very convenient, but they often have "permeable membranes" that make it hard to sort things into hard and fast groupings. Remember that when looking at the finalists for the 2014 SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Things that Float and Things that Don't (Holiday House, 2013 ) , witten by David A. Adler and illustrated by Anne Raff, is a finalist in the Children's Science Picture Book category, but it could just as easily be a candidate for the Hands-on Science Book category. As an introduction to the concepts of density and buoyancy...      Read more...
    Published 12 Nov 2013 11:13 AM by Maria Sosa
  • I am proud to be part of the team that helped put together the exhibition Beauty and the Brain Revealed currently on display at the AAAS Gallery. The exhibition builds on a 2010 collaboration between the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at the Johns Hopkins University and the Walters Art Museum to examine how the brain perceives abstract sculpture. As part of the experience, viewers can put on a pair of 3D glasses to explore digitally morphed versions of sculpture and learn how 3D shape characteristics relate to your own aesthetic preferences! The interactive exhibition explores the aesthetic theory of “significant form,” which includes the idea that certain aesthetic experiences...      Read more...
  • FableVision , a Boston-based group of education media development and publishing companies, and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's largest children's literacy nonprofit, have teamed up to develop and distribute two free apps focused on building early childhood literacy in preschool and elementary-aged children. The apps are intended to promote an early love of reading through interactive read-aloud stories, digital drawing boards, and virtual science labs. The apps were developed using best practices in literacy and are designed to help children build strong foundations for reading while engaging them through entertaining stories and vibrant loveable characters. They are available...      Read more...
    Published 15 Oct 2013 1:19 PM by Maria Sosa
  • This lovely set of AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize winning books can be yours if you enter the Science NetLinks Mystery Image Contest ! The Science NetLinks Mystery Image Contest puts your detective skills to the test by featuring a close-up section of a science-related image and you need to guess its identity. The contest features images that fit different science themes, like Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc. To enter, simply go to the Mystery Image Contest page and enter your contact information and your guess. One winner will be chosen randomly out of all the correct answers to win a prize! Each contest will be open for about two weeks and the answer will be revealed along with...      Read more...
  • KidsHealth.org, and FlickerLab Animation Studios have relaunched How the Body Works , a popular series of free, online movies for kids. The eight new How the Body Works movies are HDTV-quality animated programs targeting school-age children that explain complicated body parts in an entertaining and engaging way. Featuring the animated characters Chloe & the Nurb, the 5-minute movies reinforce educational points through humor, song, and repetition. The eight new movies, in both English and Spanish, cover the following topics: Ears , Eyes , Nose , Tongue , Teeth , Skin , Nails , and Hair . The new movies are the centerpieces of a suite of content that includes quizzes and printable activities...      Read more...
    Published 30 Sep 2013 3:30 PM by Maria Sosa
  • My colleague Bob Hirshon made this vlog (video blog) for the Verizon Thinkfinity Community about using the kinds of great science books we love here at SB&F to teach science. In it, Bob, AAAS Education Directorate head Shirley Malcom, and I talk science books and share our view that "informational" shouldn't mean boring. Along the way, we share some great literature that just happens to be about science.      Read more...
  • Guest Blogger: Neela White, Outreach and Awards Editor, SB&F One of the great parts of my job is having the opportunity to interact with the community, more specifically, working with schools and students to coordinate the generous donations of books on behalf of our partnership with Subaru of America, and the Subaru Loves Science! Initiative. Our AAAS headquarters, based out of Washington, DC has provided book donations to area schools, but for a second consecutive year our efforts have expanded out of the DC area into Indianapolis, IN with support from the Indiana Academy of Science. In 2012, Subaru Loves Science! provided a donation of science education books to Murdock Elementary School...      Read more...
  • In the August issue of SB&F we included a list of some of our favorite YouTube channels. Since August 4-10 is Geek Week on YouTube, we decided to publish the list on our blog too, with some additions. If you want to recommend a channel not on the list, please leave a comment on our Facebook page. And don't forget, we have our own SB&F Youtube Channel that features videos mainly about science books and authors, especially focused on the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books . You can find us at Bytesize Science : Produc ed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), this channel features a series of award winning videos that uncover the chemistry of everyday life,...      Read more...
  • We've been blogging recently on the intersection of science on art.. Therefore, a new trio of exhibits that opened last week at theNational Air and Space Museum here in Washington, D.C. , caught our attention. Housed together, though technically separate exhibits, "High Art: A Decade of Collecting," "Searching for Goldilocks" and "Suited for Space" showcase the exploration of space and aviation. The exhibits are described below. If you are planning a trip to D.C. in the next few months, these are definitely worth adding to your itinerary. High Art: A Decade of Collecting showcases 50 pieces of art acquired by the museum during the past 10 years. These pieces...      Read more...
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