Kelly Tyrell, science writer for the UW Madison, will give a special presentation: Has science lost the public trust?, at the Friday, November 9 meeting, 7:00 pm at UW Space Place.
Some say astronomy is a "gateway science." With compelling images, a long and storied history, and the power to spark curiosity, astronomy has often succeeded better than other sciences at capturing public attention. With news announcements like the first detection of high-energy neutrinos at IceCube and the audible "chirp" of gravitational waves from LIGO, the scientific community celebrates the opportunity to share with others the excitement of the field. Astronomy seems to have earned the public’s trust.
But we also live in an age where people dismiss information off-hand if it doesn’t fit their world view. Some despise expertise. Hosts of people deny the human causes of climate change, blame childhood vaccines for unrelated conditions, and believe the Earth is flat. Meanwhile, political leaders appear to ignore scientific evidence and, in some cases, actively work against it.
Has science in general lost the public trust? If so, how can we earn it back?
Kelly Tyrrell is a scientist-turned-science-writer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with a BS in Zoology from the University of Florida and an MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from UW–Madison. In 2011, she was a Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), learning journalism – trial-by-fire – at the Chicago Tribune. Tyrrell has also worked as a health and science reporter for the News Journal in Wilmington, DE, and as a freelance writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2014, she joined the University Communications team at UW–Madison, where she covers research of all kinds. In 2018, she published an online storytelling project called Origins, which features a chapter on the Southern African Large Telescope. She considers it an immense privilege to have visited the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere.
December 14 - Annual Telescope Fair
January 11 - Dr. Larry Sromovsky - "The origin of red features on Jupiter and the tans of Saturn"
February 8 - John Rummel - possible topic "Can the Milky Way Really Cast a Shadow?"
Moon Over Monona is a GO for tonight, Friday October 19.
We will be on the roof of Monona Terrace with telescopes.
The Fall Moon Over Monona public star party will be Friday, October 19 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm.
Plan to attend MAS' greatest (semi)-annual event -- right in downtown Madison.
At the Friday, October 12 meeting, 7:00 pm at UW Space Place, Jim Lattis, Director of UW Space Place, discusses the history of Sherburne W. Burnham’s celebrated telescope, a 6-inch Clark refractor built in 1870.
Lattis documents the locations around the country and around the world where the telescope was set up to view various celestial events, and how the telescope came to be in the possession of the UW Madison.
Burnham was a 19th century amateur astronomer who was a professional court reporter in Chicago, and eventually completed important research on double stars.
Biography: James Lattis is the Director of UW Space Place and a member of the astronomy faculty at UW Madison. He is an expert on the history of astronomy and observational astronomy. Dr. Lattis is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and authored the book, “Between Copernicus and Galileo”.
At the Friday, September 14 meeting, 7:00 pm at UW Space Place, Dr. Tracey Holloway. will give a presentation on Using Satellite Data for Air Quality and Public Health Management.
Satellite data have been able to “see” chemicals in the air - most invisible to the human eye - since the mid-1990s. However, the use of satellite data for air quality management and public health assessment has been limited. A number of barriers limit the wider adoption of satellite data, including the fact that satellite data do not fit into the methods for compliance with the Clean Air Act set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, advances over the past few years have paved the way for increased utilization of these valuable, space-based air pollution measurements.
Dr. Tracey Holloway leads the NASA Heath and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (HAQAST, haqast.org), the nation-wide effort from NASA to improve the utilization of satellite data by air quality and public health organizations. In her talk to the Madison Astronomical Society, Dr. Holloway will provide an overview of current and future advances in satellites to detect chemicals in the air, and how her team is working to connect this technology with applications and decision-making on the ground. More info on Dr. Holloway can be found at https://hollowaygroup.org/traceyholloway
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