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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
  • Firefly: Browncoats Unite . the highly-anticipated special chronicling the cult science fiction series premieres Sunday, November 11 at 10 PM (ET/PT) on the Science Channel. The All-Day Firefly event begins with a full series marathon at 7 AM (ET/PT). Firefly: Browncoats Unite , the special, will air at 10 PM (ET/PT) and will reunite Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion and the entire renegade crew of the Serenity for the first time ever to provide the complete oral history on the franchise that continues to explode in popularity - despite meeting its end a decade ago. The 60-minute special includes secrets from the set, exclusive cast interviews, and footage from this year's colossal Comic-Con panel...      Read more...
    Published 6 Nov 2012 2:49 PM by Maria Sosa
  • By Rebecca Widiss and Jessica Stoller-Conrad "If you build it, they will come." Years ago, so the story goes, novice farmer named Ray Kinsella heard a voice urging him to build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa. Somehow Ray knew "they will come" referred to the baseball players he'd loved as a child. Crazy though it seemed, he built the field. And as his heroes played, they brought Ray's community together to share baseball's magic. Starting a blog is a similar act of faith. You must believe that if you build it, two things will come: ideas worth sharing and people to share them with. You know it's a bit crazy, but something still urges you on. And so...      Read more...
  • Last month, as part of the Subaru Loves Learning initiative, Science NetLinks launched a new blog series called Spotlight on Science Writers . To launch the series, we have begun with some of the authors whose books are being featured in the Subaru Loves Learning August Book Drive that was conducted by Subaru retailers in the Northeast region of the United States. Over 16,000 books that were winners or finalists in for the SB&F Prize will be donated to schools this month as part of this very successful program. We wanted to highlight some of the authors that were selected for this program in the blog series by having them share their thoughts with readers about why they wrote the books and...      Read more...
  • It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week and we’d like to pay tribute to five of our favorite children’s science book authors who were also teachers. Even though they aren’t in the classroom anymore, they are still teaching and sharing their knowledge and skills with school children through their books. Though each has a unique voice, they share a gift for speaking directly to children and holding their attention, as all good teachers do. Vicki Cobb Vicki Cobb has been a full time writer of children’s science books for many years. But before that she was a science teacher. Her engaging hands-on science books have earned her many honors, including an AAAS/Subaru SB&F...      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
  • Guest Blogger: Ann Williams, Art Director, SB&F Image Credit: Eduardo Kac, Natural History of the Enigma, transgenic flower with artist’s own DNA expressed in the red veins, 2003/2008. Collection Weisman Art Museum. Photo: Rik Sferra. Bio-art is an art practice that uses live tissues, bacteria, living organisms and life processes to create works of art. Adam Zaretsky is an artist, or "bio-artist," working on his PhD in Art and Biology at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) . His focus is on artistic uses and the social implications of molecular biology, tissue culture, genomics and developmental biology. He once played Engelbert Humperdincks's Greatest Hits to a dish...      Read more...
  • As the editor of a review journal, reading is literally the heart of my job. It isn’t surprising, then, that I think of years in terms of books, For me, 2014 was the year that I discovered Parade’s End , Ford Madox Ford’s brilliant tetralogy, published between 1924 and 1928. I don’t know how I missed it all these years, but I’m glad I did because it came to me at a time when I needed to have my mind opened in just such a way. Similarly, Kip Thorn’s The Science of Interstellar , which I read shortly after seeing the movie, filled a craving left by the film to understand concepts that always seemed just outside of my grasp. (Do be mindful of the spoiler alerts...      Read more...
  • 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...
  • Guest Blogger: Ann Williams, Art Director, SB&F Scientific photography is both an "art" and a "science", where artists and scientists strive to better understand the world around them. Yet art and science differ greatly in their aim and their practice. Art concerns itself with aesthetically pleasing images. The artistic part of photography includes the photographer's artistic goals, his composition, his vision, inspiration and the use of art-related concepts. Understanding the "art" is essential to good photography, but cannot be performed by itself. One cannot learn and master art first and then just take photographs. It requires practice; experimentation...      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
  • Last year in April we posted Lucretius: Science in Verse and Reflections on a Dinoflagellate to commemorate National Poetry Month. This year we are offering another short series of stories that continue the conversation, beginning with this introduction to the poetry of Emily Rolfe Grosholz. Science, philosophy, and poetry have many intersections. The three disciplines share a history and are all considered traditional pillars of a liberal arts education. Poet, critic, and philosopher Emily Rolfe Grosholz lives and works in this intersection. Grosholz is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy, African American Studies and English, and a member of the Center for Fundamental Theory / Institute...      Read more...
  • As a culture we like to pretend that Halloween is just for children, but we all know that isn't true; adults also like to dress up as vampires, witches, goblins, ghosts, and monsters. We also like to carve pumpkins, as you can see from the picture on the left, a winning entry in a recent AAAS staff pumpkin carving contest! What is it about Halloween that captures our imagination? The books below don't really answer that question, but we thought they would make appropriate recommendations for this time of year. America's Neighborhood Bats: Understanding and Learning to Live in Harmony with Them , by Merlin Tuttle. Bats are ubiquitous symbols of Halloween, but are they really scary...      Read more...
    Published 16 Oct 2012 12:22 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
  • It's been a pretty rough season so far; you know it's bad when it snows the first day of spring! As I write this post there are floods in the Midwest, and several days ago it snowed across large parts of the country, including Colorado, New York, and Michigan. Nevertheless, I'm going trust that we will eventually see signs of more inviting weather that will entice us to head outdoors and explore the season. And in that spirit I offer up this bibliography published in the April 2015 issue of SB&F in which we share 28 books with a spring theme that can be used to engage children with the science of the season. Included are seven fiction selections that can be paired with the nonfiction...      Read more...
    Published 10 Apr 2015 11:48 AM by Maria Sosa
  • Are you looking for middle grade books to support learning in the content areas, especially science? If so, the finalists and commended books identified for the 2016 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes deserve your consideration. Students in the middle grades are ready to delve into interesting topics in more depth. Presenting them with interesting and challenging nonfiction can make reading pleasurable and informative. The books on our list also provide great models of good writing which can help students become better writers. To select the finalists and ultimate winner in the middle grades category, the judges use these criteria: The book is appropriate for children in grades 5-8. The book contains...      Read more...
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