Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mar 8 The Lingering Death of Superstition

Saturday, March 8, 2 - 4 pm (Flyer)
Public & Free

Robert L. Park, Ph.D.
Former University of Maryland Physics Department Chair

National Science Foundation, Room 110
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA


At this event, Professor Park will receive the 2008 NCAS Philip J. Klass Award for his outstanding contributions in promoting critical thinking and scientific understanding.

There was a total eclipse of the Sun on May 28, 585 B.C. What distinguished this particular occultation of the Sun by the Moon was that it had been predicted. The discovery of "The Law of Cause and Effect" by Thales of Melitus is often taken as the birth of science. It should also have marked the death of superstition. Why it did not is the subject of this talk.

Robert L. Park is a professor of physics and former chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. He divides his time between the University and the Washington, DC office of the American Physical Society, which he opened in 1982.

Author of more than a hundred technical papers on the structure and properties of single-crystal surfaces, Professor Park now devotes himself to helping the public distinguish genuine scientific advances from foolish and fraudulent claims. A frequent guest on news programs, he posts "What's New, "a provocative and widely-read weekly column on the internet (, and is the author of Voodoo Science: the Road from Foolishness to Fraud.

NSF is one block south of the Ballston-Marymount University metro stop on the Orange Line. For most drivers, Route 66 to Fairfax Dr. to Stuart Dr is the easiest route. Enter NSF from the corner of 9th St. N and N Stuart Streets. Room 110 is on the left before the entry guard -- you do not need to go through NSF security. Parking is available in the Ballston Common mall, in the NSF building, and at other area parking lots and garages. Metered parking is also available on the surrounding streets. (NSF Visitor Info)