Sunday, March 12, 2017

April 1 - DDT WARS: Misinformation, Disinformation and Mythology of the DDT Issue

Presented by Charles F. Wurster, Ph.D.

DDT Wars is the inside story of the decade-long scientific, legal and strategic campaign that culminated in the national ban of the insecticide DDT in 1972. DDT contamination had become worldwide, concentrating up food chains and causing birds to lay thin-shelled eggs that broke in the nests. Populations of many species of predatory and fish-eating birds collapsed. Their numbers recovered spectacularly in the decades following the ban. This campaign to ban DDT was led by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), founded in 1967 by ten citizens, most of them scientists and volunteers without special political connections or financial resources. Their strategy was to take environmental problems to court. There were many setbacks along the way in this exciting and entertaining story. Author Charles Wurster was one of the leaders of the campaign. The first six years of EDF history will be described as it struggled to survive.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2017

 The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • March 11 - Earth in human hands - David Grinspoon
  • April 1 lecture - Charles Wurster will talk on the DDT wars
  • Happy 30th Birthday NCAS!
  • Torn from today's headlines
  •  NCAS Board Elections
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  •  Shadow Light
  •  Drinking Skeptically on hiatus
  • Member renewals

March 2017

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Earth In Human Hands:
Shaping Our Planet's Future

David Grinspoon, PhD
Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute

Saturday, March 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

David Grinspoon will be talking about his new book, Earth In Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future.   Among the topics to be discussed is the merits and demerits of "activating" the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) by transitioning from passive listening to deliberate sending of messages to targeted star systems.  This has become something of a hot topic again with the publication of the end-note in a recent Communications of the ACM by Seth Shostak, wherein SETI's senior astronomer takes an uncharacteristically pessimistic view of the possible consequences of reaching out to our interstellar neighbors. Can science fiction serve as a Gedankenexperiment for possible outcomes in advance of the actuality?

Copies of Dr. Grinspoon's book will be available.

David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. He is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and adjunct professor of astrophysical and planetary science at the University of Colorado. His research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets and potential conditions for life elsewhere in the universe. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural chair of astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth systems and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization.  Dr. Grinspoon has been recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society and has been honored with the title "Alpha Geek" by "Wired Magazine."

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.