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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!


Syndication
  • International Literacy Day, traditionally observed annually on September 8, focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world's adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education. This year the International Reading Association's celebration of International Literacy Day will commence on Friday, September 7, 2012 with a special event at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building in Washington, DC. "There are currently more than 780 million illiterate adults and over 100 million children without regular access to education," IRA President Carrice Cummins...      Read more...
    Published 5 Sep 2012 3:43 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The following is a guest blog post written by Andrew Fraknoi , Chair, Astronomy Program, Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA As students return to school this fall and the media and web hype about Doomsday 2012 reaches a final, fevered pitch, all of us in science education will need to be prepared to respond to concerns from those who are genuinely worried or confused. Two new resources are now available for educators, parents, youth group leaders, and science communicators to address fears that world-wide disaster is coming on Dec. 21, 2012: A guide to accessible written and audio-visual materials (most of them freely available on the Web) has just been published in the journal " Astronomy...      Read more...
  • Kudzu was introduced from Japan into the United States at the Japanese pavilion in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It is a prototypical invasive species, adapting so well to its new environment that today grows throughout most of the southeastern United States. A deadly invader, it kills or damages other plants by smothering them under a blanket of leaves. It can completely encompass tree trunks or even uproot an entire tree. So why not eat it? Though it lends itself to pithy headlines, the idea of eating invasive species is somewhat complex and not necessarily the "easy" solution to the problem that it can appear to be on the surface. Eating invasive species made news...      Read more...
    Published 17 Aug 2012 1:30 PM by Maria Sosa
  • In case anyone out there doesn't already know, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) launched by NASA on November 26, 2011, successfully landed the Curiosity rover on August 6, 2012. Curiosity's successful landing, and all of the excitement that surrounded it, has inspired me to immerse myself in all things Mars, including reading Kim Stanley Robinson's award-winning science fiction trilogy, which is included in the list of resources below. By no means definitive and certainly not complete, I've tried to include a little bit of something for everyone on this list of resources. If you are looking for easy access to all the latest space information as it happens, there's a NASA...      Read more...
  • Now in its 25th year, Shark Week has become a highly anticipated television event. For many, Shark Week is a chance to experience the terror of a shark attack from the comfort (and safety) of their reclining sofas. One of the highlights of Shark Week is "Sharkzilla", premiering Monday, August 13, a team of engineers and paleontologists work together to recreate the largest shark to ever swim in our oceans: the mighty Megalodon. (See picture below.) It will be followed by "Mythbusters' Jawsome Shark Special", during which hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman count down their 25 biggest shark myths. Throughout its history, Shark Week 's popularity has made it a positive...      Read more...
    Published 12 Aug 2012 6:05 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The Summer Olympics are about to get underway in London. If you are looking for educational activities to correspond with the games, here are some ideas. Get Set is the official London Olympics education site. It allows users to search from a wide list of Olympics-related resources, includes films and other media, and registered users can create their own personalized space where they can post pictures and blog about the games. The London 2012 International Education Program has developed new learning resources for in a variety of languages. The resources are available online in English (Advanced level and Basic level), French and Spanish. They provide London 2012 Games information, activity...      Read more...
    Published 26 Jul 2012 3:17 PM by Maria Sosa
  • Shimer College , my alma mater, is considered one of the Great Books colleges , of which there are only a few. At Shimer, there is a core curriculum that every student must follow. While this curriculum has been modified somewhat throughout the years, it remains substantially the same as when I attended some 40 years ago. The core curriculum includes a four course sequence in the natural sciences that examines natural science in the context of its historical development. There are labs, but the focus is more on the study of original sources, such as the writings of scientists and philosophers who made significant contributions to the history of science. Below are the reading lists from the four...      Read more...
    Published 18 Jul 2012 4:46 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The Library of Congress announced recently that it has acquired the personal papers of American astronomer, astrobiologist and science communicator Carl Sagan (1934-1996). A celebrated scientist, educator, television personality and prolific author, Sagan was a consummate communicator who bridged the gap between academe and popular culture.Sagan introduced millions of people to the wonders of the universe in the 13-part public 1980 public television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The Sagan collection has come to the Library through the generosity of writer, producer and director Seth MacFarlane, and is officially designated The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive...      Read more...
    Published 28 Jun 2012 4:11 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The 2012 of the Review of Particle Physics , called the PDG for short, will run to over 1,400 pages in print and will be mailed in July to over 16,000 subscribers, with a condensed, 320-page Particle Physics Booklet to follow in September. However, the online version of the PDG has just been posted at http://pdg.lbl.gov. The PDG has been compiled and issued every two years since 1957 by the international Particle Data Group, currently consisting of almost 200 scientists from 22 countries and based at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The PDG's 2012 edition contains results from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and contains...      Read more...
    Published 25 Jun 2012 1:24 PM by Maria Sosa
  • We hope that by now most of you are aware of SB&F's social media sites. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We also maintain a YouTube channel with a few original videos as well as videos on a variety of topics that we think might interest our readers. We would also like to invite you to connect with other AAAS social media resources, including Science and many of our various program areas. Connecting with these sites will help you learn more about everything AAAS is doing to advance science and serve society through all of our different programs, fellowships, and news updates. To find out more please visit this page hosted by AAAS Member Central that lists all of our social media...      Read more...
    Published 21 Jun 2012 7:41 AM by Maria Sosa
  • On World Book Night, April 23, 2012, tens of thousands of people ventured out to distribute free paperbacks in their communities as part of an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. This unprecedented reading outreach campaign was made possible by authors, who waived their royalties and a dozen printers and binders who paid for the production and shipping of special editions created especially for World Book Night. American book publishers, the American Booksellers Association, Barnes Noble, the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, Ingram Book Company, and UPS also helped sponsor the event. I signed up to be a donor on World Book Night...      Read more...
  • Spring and SB&F are in full swing this April. Here's some of what we've been up to. Check out our Earth Day bibliography which lists some of our top environmental books for earth lovers of all ages. SB&F will be at the USA Science and Engineering Festival , along with a distinguished list of science authors . Look for us at the Book Expo if you are there, or if not, follow us on Twitter (SBFOnline) or Facebook for updates of the day's events. We will be attempting to assemble the world's longest children's science picture book, featuring artwork drawn by the kids at the Festival. We will be scanning and posting some of the pictures online on our Pinterest page. We...      Read more...
  • Recently we told you about Cambridge University Library making Sir Issaac Newton's papers available online. Now, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has launched a new online resource containing a complete catalog of more than 80,000 documents in the University's Albert Einstein Archives. The Einstein Archives Online Website provides the first online access to Albert Einstein's scientific and non-scientific manuscripts held by the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , constituting the material record of one of the most influential intellects in the modern era. It also enables access to the Einstein Archive Database, a comprehensive source of information on...      Read more...
    Published 22 Mar 2012 2:54 PM by Maria Sosa
  • Many organizations throughout the world are observing World Forest Day today. For example, RECOFTC - The Center for People and Forests is hosting several events in celebration of World Forest Day on March 21, and through the end of March. Forests are vital part of life on Earth, serving many functions that range from maintaining biodiversity to providing basic human needs. The world's forests also store enormous amounts of carbon dioxide, which helps mitigate climate change. Forests and trees have also been the subject of several of our SB&F prize winners, such as A Seabird in the Forest and The Wild Trees . Unfortunately, as this story from the website of the U.S. Geological Service...      Read more...
  • The highly anticipated Frozen Planet debuts this weekend on Discovery Channel. Narrated by actor Alec Baldwin, the seven-part series will premiere on Sunday, March 18 from 8-10PM ET/PT, and on subsequent Sundays through April 15. A Discovery Channel/BBC co-production four years in the making, Frozen Planet will provide the ultimate portrait of our earth's polar regions, where the scale and beauty of the scenery and sheer power of the natural elements are unlike anywhere else on the planet. Ambitious and epic in scale, Frozen Planet will reveal an astonishing world filled with more creatures, variety, color and spectacle than ever imagined - including the birth of an iceberg bigger than the...      Read more...
    Published 15 Mar 2012 1:47 PM by Maria Sosa
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