Wednesday, May 06, 2020

April 2020 - Evaluating News Media Coverage of Health Risk

  • April 18, 2020 - Evaluating News Media Coverage of Health Risk, Zoom talk
  • Prez Sez
  • March lecture canceled due to corona virus
  • Crowdsourcing Request for NCAS Members
  • NCAS Board elections
  • Amazon Smile
  • Shadow Lite
  • Time to renew

Monday, April 13, 2020

April 18 - Wine and Roses: Safe or Carcinogenic? Evaluating News Media Coverage of Health Risks

Presented by Anastasia Bodnar, Ph.D.

Saturday, April 18, 2020
1:30 pm

We're unable to have an onsite talk this month, but our speaker will present her talk online!
Live streaming at
Post your questions in the YouTube chat during her talk, and they will be relayed to her.

We've all heard reports that red wine is protective against cancer while other studies find it to be carcinogenic. Similarly, some say herbicides such as glyphosate are safe to use (but not on your rose bush!) while others say it’s carcinogenic . Which is true? There are many opportunities for scientific information to become biased on the pathway from scientists to the public.  In this talk, Dr. Bodnar will describe how to effectively talk about risk and how to identify reliable sources.

Originally from Florida, Anastasia has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Maryland and a Doctorate in Genetics, with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture, from Iowa State University. Anastasia is the Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc, a non-profit organization that fosters conversation about issues in food and agriculture. She is also a founding member of SciMoms, and starred in the Science Moms documentary. She started her career in the US Army, working in public health and integrated pest management. As a Presidential Management Fellow, she worked at the National Institutes of Health, where she conducted special projects in science policy, science communication, and legislative affairs. She then worked in risk assessment and risk management at the US Department of Agriculture and served as a Senior Science Advisor at the Foreign Agricultural Service. Anastasia now works in risk assessment in the USDA Office of Pest Management Policy. While away from work, Anastasia enjoys spending time with her family, learning and writing about agriculture, reading science fiction, and exploring the DC area.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

March 15 - It Came from the Science Fair!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: [March 12, 2020, Noon]: Because of the concern about meeting in large groups and the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 virus, this lecture has been postponed. We expect to reschedule it later this year.

Presented by Adam Ruben, PhD
Writer, Comedian, and Molecular Biologist

What are the most common mistakes kids make when preparing projects for science fairs?  What can we learn from these events about the way science is taught and understood?  And can we all please agree, onceand for all, that science has learned all it needs to learn from measuring classmates' heart rates before and after playing video games?  In this talk, scientist/comedian Adam Ruben will share some of the most bizarre, most inadvisable, least scientifically rigorous science projects he's judged and talk about their implications for the future of science education.

Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. Adam has performed stand-up comedy and told stories on stage for more than 20 years. He has appeared on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, the Weather Channel, Discovery International, Netflix, and NPR, and he currently hosts the shows Outrageous Acts of Science and What On Earth? on the Science Channel and is writing episodes of Elinor Wonders Why, a new show on PBS Kids premiering in September 2020. Adam is the author of two books, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (Random House, 2010) and Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball (Chicago Review Press, 2017), and writes the monthly science humor column Experimental Error in the otherwise respectable journal Science.

SUNDAY, March 15, 2020 (Note date- Sunday is not a typo)
1:30 pm
Central Library
Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium
1015 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA

Monday, January 13, 2020

February 8 - Should We Worry About 5G Towers?

Presented by Roopesh Ojha, Ph.D.

The fifth generation wireless technology for digital cellular networks, popularly known as 5G, is rapidly being deployed around the world. The leap in network speeds it will enable have several well-known benefits and, if the past is any guide, the most profound benefits haven't even been imagined yet. 5G uses radio frequencies that are higher than the radio frequencies in current use. In some quarters, concerns have been raised about putative health impacts of these radio waves. In this talk, Dr Ojha will take a look at 5G from the physics perspective as well as the statistics perspective and discuss where the balance of probabilities lies.

Dr. Ojha has worked for the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (including a year operating a telescope at the South Pole) in Cambridge, MA, the Australia Telescope National Facility in Sydney, and the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. He currently works for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space telescope primarily studying the physics of active galactic nuclei - galaxies where the dominant source of energy is matter falling onto a central supermassive black hole. Dr Ojha is known for his ability to communicate science at any level, from highly specialized scientific meetings to elementary school students. He is a regular speaker at local schools, non-profit organizations, and STEM events.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

1:30 pm 

Connie Morella Library

7400 Arlington Road

Bethesda, MD