A sleepy woman pushes off from her desk, gliding over in her rolling desk chair to the screen with the flashing icon. “! NEO detected. Preliminary analysis rating at 10 on the Torino scale. Verification required.” Half-asleep she reads the message without understanding, once, twice, but by the third time she wakes up. A lot of people will be woken up, soon, for what the message means.
Life on another planet may be very different from life familiar to us on Earth, but no matter where it lives, it must have the adaptations needed to survive in the environment it lives in. Consider the scientist in the picture here, looking into a hole in the ice at the arctic north. There is life underwater, in the cold and the dark, hanging upside down attached to frozen ice, which is quite alien and unfamiliar to most of us, and yet native to the Earth.
I like free stuff, especially when that stuff is expensive, like textbooks. To honor the start of the new school year in the United States, here are some links I found to websites where you can get free textbooks:
Earth is home. Our Solar System is also home, but it is far larger than most people realize. Part of this is an inability to experience this distance in person: most people never spend much time traveling across the planet Earth in a way to take in the size of all our continents and seas, and our local backyard in outer space is orders of magnitude larger. Another problem can be the way space is presented to our visual minds in scale.
Man-made climate change. Vaccines and autism. GMO safety. Pseudoscience debunking of all kinds. Contention and controversy on these studied issues and more cause roadblocks in our knowledge and societies. It is when willful ignorance becomes the jagged dividing rocks on which the waters of the tested knowledge crash and break. This is especially true, and damning, when the issue is made political (whether it needs to be or not). “But why?” Achenbach’s article explores. “I see … so what to do about it?” and think aloud, in response. This analysis was my attempt, given the content of the article, to develop some science communication strategies that can be used in discussions, classrooms, and communities.