Dec 23, 2012
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earth from spaceThis will be the last newsletter until 2013. What a year! You may have noticed the world didn't end last Friday. The internet has been awash with doomsday mongering from all over the world. Here in the US, 33 schools closed for fear of apocalyptic distractions. In China, almost 1,000 end-of-the-world proponents from a cult called "Almighty God" have been arrested for sowing panic. This kind of ignorant fear is dangerous, says NASA's David Morrison. In this Time article, Morrison reports "a tremendous number of emails...from people asking if the world will end, saying they're scared and don’t know what to do. A few even talk about suicide." NASA has been at the vanguard of scientists attempting to quell the paranoia, hosting a Google+ Hangout in which space scientists and educators patiently and thoroughly refuted a host of doom rumors. These ranged from pending collisions with Nibiru (a mythological planet co-opted from Sumerian, not Mayan, legend), devastating meteors, and a sudden reversal in the earth's rotation. NASA also has a website devoted to apocalypse debunking and released a video, confidently on December 12, called "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday." The video provides an interesting explanation of the Mayan conception of time and astronomy, which did not predict the end of the world. Despite such efforts, however, fear persisted amongst people skeptical of scientific facts. This indicates a broad failure in our education culture, according to astronomer Andrew Fraknoi. We have "not taught children to distinguish between fantasy and reality," he says. "The real threat in 2012 is the public's low level of science understanding.” For a discussion of the disconnect between scientists and the public and failed predictions in science, check out this podcast coverage of our Pride: Flying Cars and Other Broken Promises event. To our readers who support science and science literacy, a big thank you! Here are some of the ways in which the Academy is trying to help as we gear up for the exciting year to come. To all of you, best wishes for a very happy new year!
Lust and Love in the Animal Kingdom
Family Fun
Creative Holiday Cheer
makerExtend the holiday season with educational crafts. The New York Hall of Science offers four days of creative, scientific projects, including LED grow light terraria, ice sculptures, music-making with circuits and transducers, and much more.
 
WHEN
Thurs Dec 27 - Sun Dec 30
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM daily
WHERE
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street, Queens
PRICE
Free, some projects involve a small materials fee
 
Author Talk
Make Better Educated Guesses
estimateionsTeach your kids, and yourself, to make better estimates with author Bruce Goldstone. His book, Great Estimations, is intended to help kids grapple with really big numbers, what they mean, and how to estimate large quantities.
 
WHEN
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM and 3:00 PM
WHERE
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street, Queens
PRICE
Free w NYSCI admission
 
Science and Conservation
Collaboratively Restoring the Oceans
molaNational Geographic explorer Tierney Thys shares stories of scientists teaming up with artists to raise awareness about crucial ocean conservation issues. Thys is a marine biologist, as well as a filmmaker and collaborator on the project Okeanos, a multimedia dance-film-circus extravaganza, which you can watch being rehearsed here.
 
WHEN
Wed Jan 2
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
WHERE
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
PRICE
Free
 
Applied Mathematics
Creating Order from Data Chaos
amyThe newly-opened Museum of Mathematics offers its latest presentation in the Math Encounters series, "Random Search, Ordered Results." Amy Langville, an author and professor of mathematics, talks about the math involved in internet search engines and rankings.
 
WHEN
Wed Jan 2
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
WHERE
Baruch College Conference Center
14th Floor
55 Lexington Avenue
PRICE
Free
 
Student Opportunity
High Tech Fashion
fashionEyebeam hosts this awesome opportunity for high school students to get hands-on science experience turning their clothes into video game controllers! Fashion and game designer Kaho Abe teaches this course, which covers electrical engineering, building and soldering techniques, and stylish design.
 
WHEN
Sat Jan 5 - Sun Jan 6
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
WHERE
Eyebeam Art & Technology Center
540 West 21st Street
PRICE
$10
 
Sloth: Is Your City Making You Fat?
Connect
Science & the City Events
Lust and Love in the Animal Kingdom
Feb 12, 2013
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Sloth: Is Your City Making You Fat?
Mar 13, 2013
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Envy: The Cutthroat Side of Science
Apr 30, 2013
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Gluttony: Deconstructing Dinner
May 23, 2013
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 Buy Tickets
Podcasts

Wrath Goes Viral: Part 1

Dustyn's Robots

Fractals: Art, Science, Math and Culture

About the Science Education Initiative

Science & the City is a program of the nonprofit New York Academy of Sciences. Our mission is to increase public science literacy. We publish a comprehensive calendar of public science events in New York City, host events featuring top scientists in their fields, and produce a weekly podcast covering cutting-edge science.

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Tamara Johnson

Tamara is the Calendar and Weekly Newsletter Editor at Science & the City. You can reach her at tjohnson@nyas.org.

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