- Feb 11th - Brian Engler - Measuring Mythology
- March Lecture: Ann Merchant - The Science & Entertainment Exchange
- January Lecture Redux - Lawrence Krauss
- Torn From Today's Headlines by Scott Snell - Nowhere to Hide: Looking for an Apollo Moon Landings Hoax–from Inside NASA (Addendum)
- Shadow Light
- Drinking Skeptically - Feb 8th
NCAS Public Lecture Series
Brian D. Engler
speaking on his recent Skeptical Inquirer article
Startling Concepts in NCCAM Grants
Saturday, February 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
Over the past decade and more, huge annual expenditures by the U.S. citizenry, fed by an increasing interest in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), prompted the authors' research into U.S. taxpayer funding of so-called alternative medicine. Extensive review of National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants for CAM studies—that were principally funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) but also significantly augmented by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and many other NIH Centers and Institutes—and of ensuing clinical trials that displayed a paucity of reporting, steered the authors toward their conclusion: Ignorance of science, the lack of publications in peer reviewed medical or science journals and the failure to report clinical trials in scientific medical journals have demonstrated the failure, despite the expenditure of $2 billion taxpayer dollars over nearly 20 years, to confirm cures based not on scientific evidence but rather on cultural mythology.
Engler is a retired US Navy Commander; his fields of study are operations research and business administration. Mielczarek is emeritus professor of physics at George Mason University.
Refreshments and socializing after the talk.
March NCAS Lecture
Saturday, March 10 at 1:30 pm at National Science Foundation in Arlington. Ann Merchant (Deputy Executive Director for Communications for The National Academies) will discuss The Science & Entertainment Exchange ("The Exchange"), a program she oversees for the National Academy of Sciences that connects entertainment industry professionals with top scientists and engineers to create a synergy between accurate science and engaging story lines in both film and TV programming. From a quick fact check to a special briefing, The Exchange provides quick and easy access to experts from all the scientific disciplines. The goal of The Exchange is to use the vehicle of popular entertainment media to deliver sometimes subtle, but nevertheless powerful, messages about science.
January NCAS Lecture Redux
Congratulations to January's NCAS lecture speaker, astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. His presentation drew over 150 attendees, the largest audience for a regular monthly lecture in the 25-year history of NCAS. Many thanks go to the NCAS volunteers who helped with crowd control, the book signing event, and the audio-visual system in both NSF meeting rooms, which allowed the large audience to enjoy the program. Krauss was also able to take questions from audience members in both rooms.
Unfortunately for those unable to attend, Krauss declined to have his presentation videotaped for the NCAS YouTube channel, but he will give a similar talk on Monday, March 26, at the University of Maryland in College Park. The time and room location for the event will be provided in the March Shadow of a Doubt.
Lawrence Krauss, signing copies of his latest book
after his January 14, 2012 NCAS lecture.
(Photo credit Nelson Davis, Jr)
By Scott Snell
Nowhere to Hide: Looking for an Apollo Moon Landings Hoax–from Inside NASA (Addendum)
In Part 1 of this article (see the December 2011 Shadow of a Doubt), I considered the slim possibility that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO, for which I am flight software engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center) might not actually be in orbit around the Moon: "Playing devil's advocate, could LRO have not actually been launched to the Moon? We interacted with it at Goddard during pre-launch testing, so I know it existed then and there. But is it possible that it was later concealed somewhere on Earth, and its amazing images [of Apollo hardware] (along with data from six other instruments) are faked?"
I failed to consider an LRO discovery that probably proves that it is, in fact, in lunar orbit. In March 2010, scientists using the LRO Camera (LROC) successfully located a Soviet rover (Lunokhod 1) that had been missing for four decades. Lunokhod 1's laser reflector is a valuable scientific resource that had eluded earlier Earth-based searches.
More information is available at http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/science/04-26SovietReflector.asp
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Drinking Skeptically, now in MD and VA!
8081 Georgia Avenue (entrance on Sligo Avenue) in Silver Spring, MD
Chevys Fresh Mex
4238 Wilson Blvd (Ballston Common Mall) in Arlington, VA
The February 2011 issue of Washingtonian magazine features the Sidebar on its cover, for a story on the best bars in the DC area.
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