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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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  • As reported by Publisher’s Weekly , Amazon has acquired over 450 children's titles originally published by Marshall Cavendish . An Amazon rep told Publisher’s Weekly that, for now, the children's titles will be published by Amazon bearing the Marshall Cavendish name and that the children's unit will be part of the Amazon Publishing team overseen by Larry Kirshbaum in New York. The deal is not expected to be completed for several month and until it is finalized orders should continue to be made through existing MCCB sales teams. I can’t find any information at the moment about what this means for the future of ebooks for children, but it does spark my curiosity. Many...      Read more...
    Published 7 Dec 2011 11:54 AM by Maria Sosa
  • On Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET and Sunday, December 11, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET, the PBS series Nature will air an episode called Echo: An Elephant to Remember . Echo , the elephant matriarch, was the subject of many films and the leader of a much studied herd of elephants in Africa. Echo died of natural causes at the age of 65 in May of 2009. This film, which premiered in October of 2010, is a look back at this remarkable animal through extraordinary footage and interviews with the researchers who cared for and studied the herd, which was the subject of a number of documentary films and books over the years. (See list below.). The film presents significant events in Echo’s...      Read more...
    Published 9 Dec 2011 2:26 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The best nature and wildlife films are informative, moving, and artistic. Recently I discovered a web resource that only features some terrific videos, but goes even further by sharing some of the secrets of the craft of science filmmaking. It's called Untamed Science and is the product of a collaboration that includes scientists, filmmakers and educators. They can tell you about their mission better than I can so go here to read about it. But before you do, let me tell you what excites me about what they are doing. My favorite part of Untamed Science is a section called An Introduction ot Science and Wildlife Filmmaking . This is essentially a primer on how to make your own science videos...      Read more...
  • Cambridge University Library has made available online many of the notebooks and papers of Isaac Newton (1642-1727) to launch the new Cambridge Digital Library . Newton's own annotated copy of his Principia Mathematica is among the notebooks and manuscripts made available by the Library, which holds the world's largest and most significant collection of the scientific works of Isaac Newton. In the three-part Principia, Newton lays out in mathematical terms his laws of motion and account of universal gravitation. Newton's laws of motion formed the foundation of classical mechanics, and Newton's law of universal gravitation. Newton's manuscripts are part of Cambridge's Foundations...      Read more...
  • Last year more than 10,000 students from 91 countries entered the first Google Science Fair. This year the Google Science Fair's reach should extend even further as it will accept entries in 13 languages. In addition, there will be 90 regional finalists: 30 each from the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia Pacific. There is also a new “Science in Action” award for a project that addresses a social, environmental or health issue. Last year Shree Bose of Fort Worth, Tex., won a $50,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos for her project on drug resistance in ovarian cancer. Who will take the grand prize this year? Perhaps it's a young scientist that you know.      Read more...
    Published 12 Jan 2012 9:12 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The National Science Foundation is inviting people to participate in a live online chat on January 19 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST with two eminent scientists about cutting-edge research currently being conducted by the U.S. Antarctic Program in Antarctica--the coldest, windiest and driest place on Earth. This chat will be hosted by ScienceNOW , the daily news site of the journal Science and will feature: Scott Borg, the director of the Division of Antarctic Sciences in NSF's Office of Polar Programs. Gretchen Hofmann, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who specializes in the ecological physiology of marine organisms, including polar organisms. This online chat will...      Read more...
  • Library Science , an exhibition curated by Rachel Gugelberger, Senior Curator at Exit Art, New York is currently at ArtSpace in New Haven, Connecticut. Through drawing, photography, sculpture, installation, painting and web-based projects, the artists in Library Science explore the library through its unique forms, attributes and systems via paintings, drawings, sculpture, installations, web-based projects, coupled with the Library Science Film Festival of films with library-connected themes or characters taking place around the state. Among the films screened were the following: Biblioburro: The Donkey Library, a 2008 documentary about Luis Soriano, a Colombian teacher who brings a circulating...      Read more...
    Published 24 Jan 2012 4:38 PM by Maria Sosa
  • One of the best parts of my job is that I am actually required to search for engaging and effective online resources to share with the public. Earthguide and Earthguide Online Classroom are my latest finds. These related sites are dedicated to providing online materials for K-14 students, teachers, and the public with the goal of enhancing lifelong learning and encouraging positive action related to the management of the Earth, its living and natural resources, and society. Earthguide offers a diverse range of resources that include image libraries, maps, videos, recent news, and more specialized information that should appeal to advanced students and researchers. The resources in Earthguide...      Read more...
    Published 1 Feb 2012 11:37 AM by Maria Sosa
  • A new NASA program brings the excitement of space exploration to children learning to live a healthy lifestyle. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, NASA's Train Like an Astronaut program aims to increase opportunities both in and out of school for kids to become more physically and mentally active. The program uses the excitement of space exploration and astronaut training to challenge, inspire and educate kids to set physical fitness goals and practice fitness and proper nutrition. Kids will explore mission challenges, learn the science behind nutrition and learn to train like an astronaut. The activities used in the Train Like an Astronaut program were...      Read more...
    Published 5 Mar 2012 3:59 PM by Maria Sosa
  • Brain Pickings , Maria Popova's clever and captivating blog, shares a story called Alan Turing's Reading List: What the Computing Pioneer Borrowed From His School Library . Alan Turing was a British mathematician and computer science pioneer who created the Turing machine, which was instrumental in the development of modern computer science. It seems that a list of the books that Turing checked out during his years at Sherborne School in England was discovered recently. Popova notes that "the selection features some wonderful wildcards that bespeak the cross-disciplinary curiosity fundamental to true innovation," and goes on to highlight 5 of her favorites on the list. These...      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
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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...
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