Looking for inspiration

Looking for inspiration

I have to admit, life has gotten sufficiently busy that I’ve lost all track of time and place. Yesterday, waking up in Austin for SXSW Interactive, I was reminded by the intertubes that it is Women’s Month, and yesterday (not today) was International Women’s Day. Scott Lewis (KnowTheCosmos) interviewed Nicole Gugliucci and I about what inspired us and will be posting the video soon. This experience, and a recent talk that I gave at the Midwest Regional Women in Physics Conference, made me take a minute and really reflect on who has inspired me over the years. For most people my age, there is only one answer: Carl Sagan. For people in their 30s and older, he was the man of science that filled their heads while he filled their small screens. The...

Read More

Last Minute Giving

Last Minute Giving

Currently I’m somewhere between the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida. I’ve been at sea on the Norwegian Pearl since Dec 16 for the End of the World (not) Cruise, and all intentions of buying gifts and sending Christmas cards prior this trip were a complete failure. I guess I’m celebrating Eastern Orthodox holiday dates this year! All joking aside, it is the season of giving: both of giving gifts to friends and loved ones because you care, and giving financial donations to organizations you believe in because you want tax deductions. Several organizations I really love were lucky enough to be picked to get financial grants from the Uwingu project: Astronomers Without Borders and the Galileo Teacher Training Program were among the first 4...

Read More

The internet – this place I live – has a culture. Srsly.

The internet – this place I live – has a culture. Srsly.

Online culture needs to be recognized as a unique culture. (TL;DR version:  *The internet has its own valuable culture. Those of you who only see online media as a way to promote your projects to people who are wasting time online … please get off my lawn –  solicitors aren’t welcome.) To this audience this idea probably seems like stating the obvious, but I had this moment of clarity while talking to a colleague who works with “diverse” audiences; people working with people of a visibly different culture (skin tone, apparel, socioeconomic class) are careful to learn their audiences needs, but people who suddenly decide social media is important don’t make the same attempt to understand the online audience. Okay, that was a stupidly long...

Read More

Tweeting from an Asteroid

Tweeting from an Asteroid

Disclaimer:  I am not the human behind the @AsteroidMappers feed. I have the password, but so does everyone else working on CosmoQuest, and I know that since AsteroidMappers launched Saturday, I’ve been way too busy to tweet from that account. I haven’t tried to sort which (or which combo) or 3 possible people wrote these @AsteroidMappers tweets, and in a way I don’t want to know because that will erase the magic. All I know is that if you aren’t following this account you may not have giggled as much as I did this...

Read More

Cosmic Castaways – You’re Invited!

Cosmic Castaways – You’re Invited!

My job let’s me do some of the most awesome things. One of those things is narrating planetarium shows. My 2nd planetarium show is premiering Oct. 4 at the Ward Beecher Planetarium in Youngstown, OH on the YSU campus. We’re taking advantage of this event to also host a fundraising dinner with proceeds going to the creation of more shows just like this one. Get your tickets now! Every other night this show is shown, admission will be completely free! This show was produced using funds from the National Science Foundation, and Ward Beecher keeps it’s doors open thanks to an endowment and thanks to donations and grants like the one that produced this show. I love this idea: Raise money to pay the costs associated with producing content, and then...

Read More

Developing a better world, one astronomy lesson at a time

Developing a better world, one astronomy lesson at a time

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 sat my privileged white self down and pulled out my iPad and listened as delegates from nations as far ranging as Mozambique, Mexico, Nepal, and the Philippines presented talk after talk on how they are building a more educated future for our globe by building astronomy learning and capacity. I was sufficiently sucked in that I...

Read More

Pink Tasks (post 2/2)

In yesterday’s women in science lunch, we ended with this question: Why do so many women remain silent about all the day-to-day micro-inequities and minor discriminations and injustices they deal with. Ignoring the obvious (it’s really hard to report someone for a million small things that can be blamed on “Oh, he was just in a bad mood), there are also many other reasons to remain silent. I long ago recognized that institutional bias against women – a bias that is often unconscious and unintentional – is something that is almost universal. Some institutions, when they recognize there is a problem, respond by working to positively change the institution. This occurred at MIT when it was realized that women were systematically given less...

Read More
Now live! Expect the Unexpected.
Currently offline.