The USA Science and Engineering Festival will really heat up when Popular Science and Make Magazine writer William Gurstelle speaks at the Family/Hands-on Science Stage on Sunday morning. Gurstelle, who wrote the bestselling DIY science book Backyard Ballistics, will be reading from his newest book, The Practical Pyromaniac. The book is a hands-on guidebook to playing with fire and narrates the story of humankind’s long-coming understanding of the most important chemical reaction on the planet.
In addition to his talk, William will join a number of other well-known science authors including Homer Hickam, Theo Gray, and Robin Cook for a panel discussion on Saturday night to discuss how current science writing is reinvigorating interest in the sciences among young people. The Featured Author Panel Discussion “Science Stories in Society & School: Using Narrative to Bridge the Gap” will take place at 8 pm at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium. Click here for free tickets to this event.
William’s Sunday morning’s talk is entitled “Science, Danger, and Progress”. The three decade period preceding the year 1800 was a time of incredible scientific progress. Led by scientists such as Benjamin Franklin, John Dalton, Henry Cavendish, Joseph Priestly, and Antoine Lavoisier, the understanding of the physical world radically changed. The old theories of nature – the four elements, alchemy, and phlogiston, among others – were swept aside and new scientific understanding based on real chemistry and physics took hold. These men – The Practical Pyromaniacs – led lives filled with science, danger, and progress.