Sleepless in Seattle: Re-Cap on Framing Science Tour


On Friday, I was in Seattle for our latest stop in the Speaking Science 2.0 tour. We were hosted by the University of Washington's Forum on Science Ethics and Policy (FOSEP), the Dept. of Communication, the Pacific Science Center, and Town Hall Seattle. (I will have a post up later about how FOSEP serves as an innovative model for regional collaborations around science communication.)

The day started at 11am with a presentation I gave to about 60 faculty and graduate students on the communication dynamics of the stem cell debate. While I was wrapping up the presentation at the Student Union, Chris Mooney was in the studios at KUOW, appearing on the NPR affiliate's The Conversation to discuss our visit (audio). After lunch, I met with several UW faculty including Leah Ceccarelli from Communication, Carl Bergstrom from Biology, and Kelly Fryer-Edwards from Medical History and Ethics.

At 3pm, we gathered with about 25 graduate students from FOSEP for an informal discussion of emerging issues in science communication. We then headed out with several graduate students for spicy Mexican seafood at Peso's Kitchen and Lounge.

At 7, it was time for the marquee event, our joint IMAX theater presentation at the Pacific Science Center before an audience of about 180. The Scientist had shipped to Seattle about 400 copies of the October issue featuring the cover article on framing, and copies were distributed to attendees throughout the day.

After the talk, about 25 people headed to McMenamins Pub. I had the chance to finally meet Mark Powell from the Ocean Conservancy. Powell is quoted in the reader comment side bar of our article at The Scientist, and has this post up about our Seattle talk at his site Blog Fish. I also had the chance to share a beer with Brian Smoliak, a graduate student at UW in Atmospheric Sciences, who is trying to launch a science beat at the school's daily newspaper. In today's edition, Brian has this article up about Friday's events.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

(MPH Photos/giphy/yShutterstock/Big Think)
Mind & Brain
  • Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
  • In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
Keep reading Show less

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.