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Resources that Address Student and Public Fears about Astronomical Causes for the End of the World in 2012
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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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 Education Review" (click on the "Download PDF" link under the author's name for the easiest way to see the entire article).

A video recording of the plenary session "Doomsday 2012 and Cosmophobia" at this summer's meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has now been posted by NASA's Lunar Science Institute. The panel, held Aug. 7, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona, includes astronomers, educators, and an expert on Mayan civilization. 

Panelists examine some of the key claims about end-of-the-world predictions and the more general idea of "cosmophobia" -- fear of celestial events and phenomena. And they answer questions from educators in the audience. The website also includes an overview letter from Dr. David Morrison(of NASA and the SETI Institute) and links to useful resources.

 


Posted 22 Aug 2012 2:34 PM by Maria Sosa