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.
22 Aug 2012 2:34 PM