Sunday, April 30, 2017

NCAS 2017 Elections

NCAS will be having its annual election for Board of Director positions. Members will shortly receive information in how to vote. Candidates for the Board are given here.

Monday, April 03, 2017

May 20 - Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

Presented by Susan Gerbic

Note different location (below) from our usual meeting place.

Susan Gerbic will be speaking to us about the work of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project. You learn much about what happens behind the scenes of the 10th most popular website. The mission of the GSoW is to rewrite all Wikipedia pages concerning scientific skepticism, and to do so in all languages possible. They work to support the people and organizations that do the research, write the books, organize the conferences and take the heat from the anti-science and paranormal world.  GSoW gives them the best possible Wikipedia pages possible, while following all the rules of Wikipedia. The GSoW has had a large impact on education around the world since 2010. The GSoW has written and rewritten hundreds of Wikipedia pages, including Spontaneous Human Combustion, Facilitated Communication, Perry DeAngelis, Genetic Literacy Project, Jerry Andrus, "Grandmother Fish" and many more.


Saturday, April 01, 2017

Shadow of a Doubt - April 2017

 The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • April 1 - DDT Wars - Charles F. Wurster, PhD
  • May 20 lecture - Susan Gerbic - Guerilla Skeptics of Wikipedia
  • Happy 30th Birthday NCAS!
  • NCAS YouTube Channel's Most Popular Video
  • Torn from today's headlines
  • NCAS Board Elections
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  •  Shadow Light
  •  Drinking Skeptically on hiatus
  • Member renewals

 
April 2017

NCAS Public Lecture Series

DDT Wars:
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Mythology of the DDT Issue

Charles F. Wurster, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, SUNY Stony Brook

Saturday, April 1, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Bethesda Regional Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
(Bethesda Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members


DDT Wars is the inside story of the decade-long scientific, legal and strategic campaign that culminated in the national ban of the insecticide DDT in 1972. DDT contamination had become worldwide, concentrating up food chains and causing birds to lay thin-shelled eggs that broke in the nests. Populations of many species of predatory and fish-eating birds collapsed. Their numbers recovered spectacularly in the decades following the ban. This campaign to ban DDT was led by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), founded in 1967 by ten citizens, most of them scientists and volunteers without special political connections or financial resources. Their strategy was to take environmental problems to court. There were many setbacks along the way in this exciting and entertaining story. Author Charles Wurster was one of the leaders of the campaign. The first six years of EDF history will be described as it struggled to survive.

Copies of Dr. Wurster's book will be available.

Charles F. Wurster is a founding member of the Environmental Defense Fund and a Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the Marine Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He received his Bachelor of Science degree at Haverford College. He earned a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University. Subsequently Wurster spent a year in Innsbruck, Austria, as a Fulbright Fellow. From 1959 to 1962, he worked as a research chemist at the Monsanto Research Corporation.

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

http://www.ncas.org/2017/03/april-1-ddt-wars-misinformation.html

Sunday, March 12, 2017

April 1 - DDT WARS: Misinformation, Disinformation and Mythology of the DDT Issue


Presented by Charles F. Wurster, Ph.D.



DDT Wars is the inside story of the decade-long scientific, legal and strategic campaign that culminated in the national ban of the insecticide DDT in 1972. DDT contamination had become worldwide, concentrating up food chains and causing birds to lay thin-shelled eggs that broke in the nests. Populations of many species of predatory and fish-eating birds collapsed. Their numbers recovered spectacularly in the decades following the ban. This campaign to ban DDT was led by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), founded in 1967 by ten citizens, most of them scientists and volunteers without special political connections or financial resources. Their strategy was to take environmental problems to court. There were many setbacks along the way in this exciting and entertaining story. Author Charles Wurster was one of the leaders of the campaign. The first six years of EDF history will be described as it struggled to survive.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2017

 The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics


  • March 11 - Earth in human hands - David Grinspoon
  • April 1 lecture - Charles Wurster will talk on the DDT wars
  • Happy 30th Birthday NCAS!
  • Torn from today's headlines
  •  NCAS Board Elections
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  •  Shadow Light
  •  Drinking Skeptically on hiatus
  • Member renewals

 
March 2017

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Earth In Human Hands:
Shaping Our Planet's Future

David Grinspoon, PhD
Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute

Saturday, March 11, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
National Science Foundation, Room 110
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA [map] [directions]
(Ballston-Marymount University Metro stop)
Enter NSF from the corner of 9th N & N Stuart Streets.
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

David Grinspoon will be talking about his new book, Earth In Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future.   Among the topics to be discussed is the merits and demerits of "activating" the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) by transitioning from passive listening to deliberate sending of messages to targeted star systems.  This has become something of a hot topic again with the publication of the end-note in a recent Communications of the ACM by Seth Shostak, wherein SETI's senior astronomer takes an uncharacteristically pessimistic view of the possible consequences of reaching out to our interstellar neighbors. Can science fiction serve as a Gedankenexperiment for possible outcomes in advance of the actuality?

Copies of Dr. Grinspoon's book will be available.

David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. He is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and adjunct professor of astrophysical and planetary science at the University of Colorado. His research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets and potential conditions for life elsewhere in the universe. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural chair of astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth systems and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization.  Dr. Grinspoon has been recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society and has been honored with the title "Alpha Geek" by "Wired Magazine."

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

http://www.ncas.org/2017/02/march-11-earth-in-human-hands-shaping.html