Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Germ Frenzy - Hype and Reality

Sat, Dec 9, 2:30- 4:30 pm - Karl J. Roberts, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, PGCC
Tysons-Pimmit Library, Falls Church, VA near West Falls Church Metro (Map & Directions)
As a nation, we have become obsessed with germs and cleanliness, sometimes to the point of paranoia. (Flyer) Get a Free NCAS "Prove It!" button.

It seems that every day we are introduced to yet another invisible microbial threat that aims to eradicate us as a species. But how much do we really know about the microbial world around us?

While we can't escape the presence of germs, we all need to understand them and to realize that only the smallest fraction are the agents of disease and decay. In this talk, we will examine many of the roles microbes play in our world and how they influence our health and well being in both negative and positive ways.

We will also discuss the results of a large, comprehensive study on the ubiquity of germs in our environment, both at home and abroad, as well as role the media plays in disseminating information that lends itself more often to fear than understanding.

Bio: Dr. Karl J. Roberts
BS, Biology - Western Kentucky University (1983)
MSIS, Biology, Sociology, Education - University of Texas, Brownsville (1989)
Ph.D., Biology (Plant Ecology) - Illinois State University (1997)

Dr. Roberts began his career as a high school biology teacher (1985-1989) and has been a college and university instructor at University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas Southmost College, Lincoln College (Illinois), Illinois State University (Director of biology graduate instructors and Supervisor of undergraduate Biology Teachers) and a tenured professor of biology (microbiology) at Prince George's Community College(1994-present).

He has published research papers in plant ecology in refereed journals and have served as a consulting reviewer on several anatomy and microbiology texts. He has also served on grant review boards for the National Science Foundation, been a Grand Awards Judge for the International Science and Engineering Fair and as a Category Co-Chair for ISEF in 2006.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How Framing Shapes Public Dialogue on Science Policy

According to Matthew Nisbet, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Communication at American University, we are, by nature, cognitive misers ... We seek shortcuts for understanding massive amounts of information ... What’s interesting is that most strategic communication is not about changing people’s minds; rather it’s about activating people, redefining an issue in a way that makes their social identity or their predispositions relevant to a campaign ...

AAAS has posted a summary of an October 11th introductory talk on "Framing Science" by Matthew Nisbet with a link to his PowerPoint slides, bio and his blog.


See also:
Framing Science - Matthew Nisbet - Podcast by Point of Inquiry
Framing Science Blog - Matthew Nisbet

These citations are posted in the Bibliographies section of this web site under "Science".

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Objectivism & Skepticism: A Good Match?

Sat, Nov 11, 2:30- 4:30 pm - Dr. Ed Hudgins, Objectivist Center Executive Director
Tysons-Pimmit Library, Falls Church, VA near West Falls Church Metro (Map-Directions)
Free NCAS 20th AnniversaryThat's Nice, Prove It! button to all at this event. (Flyer)
In this talk, Dr. Hudgins will show how Objectivism is founded on rational principles. The Objectivist philosophy complements healthy Skepticism by offering those who value reason, science and freedom a complete and coherent morality of rational, responsible self-interested individualism -- from which overall societal good emerges inherently.

Hudgins will explain how self-interest is essential for a rational culture fit for humans at their best -- a society that avoids pre-modern mysticism and post-modern relativism and rejection of reality. He will also address misconceptions about the Objectivist philosophy, including the concern of some that Objectivism is a cult.

Dr. Hudgins is executive director of The Objectivist Center and its Atlas Society (objectivistcenter.org). He was editor of Regulation magazine and director of regulatory studies at the Cato Institute, where he pushed books on trade, the Postal Service and space policy. He also worked for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and was director of the Center for International Economic Growth at the Heritage Foundation. Hudgins has a BA in government and politics from the University of Maryland , an MA in political theory and history from American University and a Ph.D. in political philosophy and international relations at Catholic University of America.

On November 11 please call NCAS at 301 587-3827 for a recorded message -- if there may be any last minute program changes due to inclement weather, etc.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Center For Inquiry Office of Public Policy DC Opens Nov 14

Celebrate the inaugural public event of the CFI Office of Public Policy!
Tuesday, November 14th, 2006. Multiple events from 11 am to 8 pm
Admission fees for some events. RSVP to: Toni Van Pelt at (202) 546-2330

Full and updated details at http://cfidc.org/events/index.html