One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is that facts are not all powerful. As a scientist, I love facts. A paleontologist tells me that there is a 365-million-year-old fishlike thing with eight fingers that is an ancient cousin to tetrapods? Amazing! Where can we find more like it?

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In a new exciting venture with several partners, I have come to greatly appreciate the many science-based resources for teachers housed at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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The opportunity to directly engage with people in Iowa about climate change and evolution just got a whole lot easier with a $270,000 three-year grant from the Carver Charitable Trust.

The great success of the Science Booster Club Program and the new grant are strong testaments to the power of creating deep partnerships between academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.

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The violet filter on the Imaging Science System aboard Voyager 1 and 2Many years ago, I said to a colleague, “What a beautiful shirt! Royal blue is a good color on you.” She replied, “What do you mean blue? This shirt is purple!” After some experimenting, we discovered that we consistently differed on the line between blue and purple. In extending our experiments to co-workers, we found that I was the outlier—most people saw blue and purple more like my colleague. It turns out that such differences are real; the proteins that detect light in our eyes can be tuned to slightly different wavelengths, and we can each have slightly different ratios of the three proteins that allow us to distinguish colors. I really do see blue where most people see purple. (Do you? Here’s a Buzzfeed quiz.)

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In part 1, I observed that there are two obstacles that might seem to face teachers wanting to use recent extreme weather, like Hurricane Harvey, in teaching about climate change: the complexities and uncertainties involved in attributing specific weather events to global climate change on the one hand, and the tendency of the opponents of teaching climate change to portray those complexities and uncertainties as admissions of ignorance and error.

from the Texas Water Development Board

 

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