Teaching


Earlier today I realized I was one day off. I showed up for a meeting on communicating astronomy to the public and found myself in a meeting on generating more accurate world coordinate systems for sky surveys. While astrometry is important, it is something that I wasn’t interested in helping advance prior to lunch. Thus, I fled. In fleeing, I found myself in a session on how to use astronomy to develop the developing world. I...

Read More
Slow Science & Peer-Review

Slow Science & Peer-Review


Posted By on Mar 5, 2012

Science moves slowly. That may seem like an odd statement when the pace of press releases and breaking news seems to imply that new discoveries are flying fast and furious, with labs making discoveries and publishing them almost before they’re ready for prime time. What is missing from this perspective are the realities of the funding cycle and publishing cycle. I just had to fill out a form that required me to list all my...

Read More

The question I get asked the most is “Why are you an astronomer?” The tone of this question varies from “I never thought I’d meet an astronomer? How did this happen?” to “Are you insane – that’s hard! Why would you do that!” to “Do astronomers have a reason to exist?” to, well…. reactions vary and it is clear I’m not the vision of what people expect an...

Read More

STEM Education for Tomorrow


Posted By on Dec 7, 2011

Over the past several weeks I’ve had more than one person ask me, “What is your view on the future of STEM (1) Education?” Sometimes they have gone on to ask further about how I feel about the future of science in general. This much repeated question has been triggered by many things. On one hand, I work in a Center for STEM Research, Outreach and Education, and we’re working to define our vision. On the other...

Read More
Universal Education

Universal Education


Posted By on Oct 4, 2011

Here in the USA (or I should say there, since I’m currently in France), education tends to be somewhat nationalistic. It has to be. Teachers are tied to state and federal learning standards and if students don’t learn what is specifically listed in those standards, and specifically tested along those standards, schools are considered to have failed. While the national standards were written with the best of intentions to create a more...

Read More

Lunar phase visualization contest


Posted By on Jul 20, 2011

Right now I’m sitting in the main ‘ballroom’* of the NASA Ames conference center. I’m here for the NASA Lunar Forums, which are hosted by the NASA Lunar Science Institute, which is housed at NASA Ames. (As one might guess, there are NASA meatballs everywhere). It is a good meeting, filled with good content, and all the latest good news from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The multi-hat wearing Nancy Atkinson...

Read More