Monday, December 10, 2018

January 12 - Science Education and Storytelling: Combatting Denialism With Better (and True!) Stories

Presented by Sean B. Carroll, Ph.D
Dept. of Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

From Dr. Seuss to Disney, Harry Potter to Game of Thrones, we grow up and live in a world teeming with stories. In all forms of media - books, films, television, radio, and the internet, stories are the currency of everyday life. Yet they are strangely absent from the science classroom.

Despite a universal appreciation and thirst for stories, and considerable evidence for their pedagogical power, stories are underutilized in formal education, and in learning science in particular. One of my main goals as a scientist, educator, and storyteller is to encourage the use of stories in science education.  I will discuss why stories have an important place in the science classroom, and how they can help further the inroads being made in the teaching and acceptance of contentious subjects such as evolution.

Sean B. Carroll is an award-winning evolutionary biologist, author, educator, and film producer. He leads the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the largest private supporter of science education activities in the US, is the Executive Director of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and is the Andrew and Mary Balo and Nicholas and Susan Simon Endowed Chair of Biology at the University of Maryland. He is also Professor Emeritus of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin.

A prominent science communicator in print and on film, Carroll is the author of eight books, and has served as an executive producer of nearly thirty feature or short documentary films including The Farthest: Voyager in Space which recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Science Documentary. Carroll is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Saturday, January 12, 2019
1:30 pm

Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library
7584 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 

(Note: This is a different location from usual. NCAS has not met here for perhaps 10 years.)

Friday, November 30, 2018

December 8 - Genomic Medicine: Today and Tomorrow

Presented by Anastasia Wise, Ph.D.

Saturday, December 8, 2018, 1:30 pm

Argosy University
1550 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 712
Arlington, VA

Near Rosslyn Metro.  Parking garage accessible from N. Pierce Street. There is controlled building access so please arrive on time.

Genomic medicine, utilizing genomic information in clinical care, aims to improve clinical management, prevent complications, and promote health. With many names often used interchangeably, including genomic medicine, precision medicine, and personalized medicine, we’ll discuss what genomic medicine is and the clinical testing that is available today to improve diagnosis and therapy.  We’ll explore common misconceptions as well as success stories regarding genomic medicine implementation, particularly disease diagnosis, and conclude with what may be possible in the future.

Dr. Wise is a program director in the Division of Genomic Medicine at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). She received her Ph.D. in genetics and genomics from Duke University and joined NHGRI in 2010.  At NHGRI she serves as project officer for programs advancing the application of genomics to medical science and clinical care with a focus on perinatal sequencing, undiagnosed and rare disease genomic medicine, and sex chromosome analysis and association methods. She is also a project scientist for the Newborn Sequencing in Genomic Medicine and Public Health (NSIGHT) program, which aims to explore the potential implications, challenges and opportunities associated with the possible use of genomic sequence information in the newborn period. Her other research interests include gene-environment interactions in complex disease, pharmaco/toxicogenomics, and ethical, legal, and social issues related to the use of genetic information.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

December 1 - Meet the SGU Podcast Rogues

The Rogues of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast are going to be in Washington, D.C., and you have the opportunity to meet them! Join us on Saturday, December 1 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Cambria Hotel lounge, located at 899 O St NW in Washington, DC. The lounge has full dinner service as well as a bar. Pick up the new book  The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake beforehand and they will be happy to sign it for you (available at and other online booksellers).

For those thinking of attending the SGU meetup, here is some important information regarding how to get there.

For those coming by Metro from Greenbelt and points after, the Shaw – Howard University station is where you'd want to exit. It is a 0.3 mile walk from the Shaw station to the hotel. Red Line riders may, if they wish, walk 0.7 miles from the Gallery Place station to the hotel, or take a free shuttle to the Mt. Vernon Sq. station and walk 0.3 miles, or take bus 70.  There will be no Yellow Line service at all on Dec. 1.  Metro track work schedules are subject to change, so if you are coming by Metro, be sure to check their website before heading out.

Parking in the garage at 1415 9th Street NW will be $6.00 per hour according to Colonial Parking. However, any special events that night might affect the cost.

Not sure who or what the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe is?

“The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is a weekly, 80-minute podcast hosted by Steven Novella, MD, and a panel of "skeptical rogues". It is the official podcast of the New England Skeptical Society. The show features discussions of recent scientific developments in layman's terms, and interviews authors, people in the area of science and other famous skeptics. The show also includes discussions of myths, conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, the paranormal, and many general forms of superstition, from the point of view of scientific skepticism.” (

The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast has been producing weekly episodes since 2005.

Visit to listen to the latest episode or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.   

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Shadow of a Doubt - November 2018

  • November 3 lecture - The Disappearance of Cyclops: Lost Without a Trace Presented by Marvin W. Barrash
  • Amazon Smile Donation Increases
  • December 8 lecture: Anastasia Wise, PhD of NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute will present Genomic Medicine.
  • Torn from today's headlines
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals
Click to see Shadow.

Sunday, November 11, 2018