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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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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
  • In our August issue we published Linda Weiner's review of Loree Griffin Burns' book Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of a Scientific Discover (see below), which tells the story of four actual research projects that invite members of the public to participate in "real" science. While Citizen Science projects have been around for a long time, their resurgence in popularity could have something to do with the growth of crowdsourcing , a distributed problem-solving and production model such as that used by Wikipedia and TripAdvisor. One of the earliest Citizen Science Projects was the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's PigeonWatch in which participants counted pigeons and recorded the...      Read more...
  • If you were thinking about planting a tree this Fall using the revised USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map , here's some important news for you: warming temperatures may have already made it obsolete! The Zone Map predicts which trees and perennials can survive the winter in a given region, and it hadn't been revised since 1990. As expected, temperature boundaries shown in the revised version released earlier this year have shifted northward. However, according to an analysis conducted by Dr. Nir Krakauer, the true zones have moved even farther north. Krakauer, assistant professor of civil engineering in The City College of New, developed a new method to map cold-weather zones in the United...      Read more...
    Published 14 Sep 2012 3:52 PM by Maria Sosa
  • We've noticed that there is a lot of good science content on YouTube. Schools, however, may be reluctant to provide students with unrestricted access to YouTube because much of the content can be distracting or downright inappropriate for students. To get around this problem, Google has been offering YouTube for Schools , a tool that gives schools the ability to access a broad set of educational videos on YouTube EDU and to select the specific videos that are accessible from within their school networks. Launched in December of 2011, YouTube for Schools provides schools access to hundreds of thousands of free educational videos from YouTube EDU , which features a broad range of educational...      Read more...
    Published 21 Sep 2012 3:20 PM by Maria Sosa
  • In our September issue, we shared a resource guide inspired by Disposable Culture , an art exhibit at AAAS headquarters. We thought that our readers might also be interested in a few other science-focused art exhibits. One is Focus on Nature (FON) , a biennial exhibition of scientific, natural and cultural history. It began in 1990 in conjunction with the Northeast Natural History Conference. Artworks considered for inclusion must accurately represent the subjects, or research results and processes. The current exhibition is open through December 31, 2012 in the Photography Gallery of the New York State Museum in Albany, NY. It features 93 natural history illustrations, representing the work...      Read more...
  • Racine, Wis. Elementary Students Read Their Way to $100,000 School Library Makeover (via PR Newswire ) RACINE, Wis., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, students, teachers and friends of Wadewitz Elementary School are celebrating the grand opening of the Wadewitz Reads Dream Big Library -- their modernized library -- which students earned by securing first place in the Racine Reads: Dream Big! program…      Read more...
    Published 11 Oct 2012 2:03 PM by Maria Sosa
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