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September 2012 - 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!

  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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