…Or “What I’ve been up to for the last week or so.”
Last week was a busy travel week. I was in West Virginia for the first half of the week, on a whirlwind tour of the Morgantown area, speaking in the geology department at West Virginia University, then twice at a symposium on science communication, and then at a local freethought group (meeting in a beautiful Unitarian church with a view of the valley).
The video above is a slidecast from a talk NCSE’s Steve Newton and I gave about the Process of Science and Scientific Controversy. Steve didn’t record his talk, so you miss the lead-in, alas, but a good introduction to issues in the nature of science can be found at UCMP’s Understanding Evolution website.
In the afternoon, Steve and I did a session on outreach to the media, and I hope to post a slidecast from that event, too. It was a smallish group, but we had the chief of staff to the president of the university and Skeptoid‘s Brian Dunning in the group, which kept things lively.
And let it be said that the WVU Free Thinking Inquiring Secular Humanists (FISH) were a charming and thoughtful gang. We (Steve, me, and Brian Dunning) had a good time with them, and there’s a tape of the event somewhere out there that may make its way to Youtube some day. After that, we saw Sheril Kirshenbaum speak about science communication, and then crashed.
The next day, I traveled down to Orlando, to catch the tail end of the National Association for Research on Science Teaching conference, and to take part in a working group on tools for assessing evolution understanding and acceptance. It was a fascinating couple days of conversation, with some interesting research and publications that should emerge from it (but mum’s the word until then).
While I was somewhat incommunicado, Templeton gave its award to Martin Rees, the gnu atheists pitched six sorts of fits, and various other inane things happened in the world. The tremendous opportunities for science outreach and education that I saw last week made all the petty BS that goes on between gnus and “accommodationists” (whatever that term means) look especially silly, so blogging has taken a back seat.
But it will return to its usual schedule, and with exciting news to report, including a session I’m organizing at Netroots Nation (this June in Minneapolis). Meanwhile, enjoy the video, and I look forward to your thoughts in the comments. FWIW, here are the slides on their own: