Daily Archives: July 9, 2012

Free Chapter from New Global Warming Book

There is a new book coming out called How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming. Here is a description:

When the weather changes daily, how do we really know that Earth’s climate is changing? Here is the science behind the headlines – evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young “citizen-scientists.” And here is what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action. Climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern, here told in an age-appropriate manner, with clarity and hope. Kids can make a difference! This book combines the talents of two uniquely qualified authors: Lynne Cherry, the leading children’s environmental writer/illustrator and author of The Great Kapok Tree, and Gary Braasch, award-winning photojournalist and author of Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World.

And HERE, courtesy of the National Center for Science Education, is a free chapter from that book. Enjoy.

Skepchickal Sex Ratio in Context

The question has been asked: What was the sex ratio of attendees of the recent SkepchickCON Track at CONvergence, and of the panelists? To this it would be nice (and appropriate) to add the same questions for CONvergence as a whole. I have some, but not all, of that information.

I looked at the panelist sex ratio by examining every Skepchick run panel on the CONvergnece schedule, and adjusted where I know for who actually was on the panel (it is usually the same but now and then things turn out differently). To sample panels at CONvergence, I simply examined the CONvergence panel immediately after the Skepchick organized panel on the schedule listing, and if the Skepchick panel was the last one, I looked at the one before that. For each time slot, these panels are listed alphabetically so this probably represents a good unbiased pair. This may have errors and it is uncorrected, but the numbers are stark so I’m not worried about false conclusions being drawn if there is an error here and there.

I looked at 17 panels that I could identify as Skepchick organized from the schedule and one panel that was not on he schedule (the last one) but that I knew about (that was the only one not on the schedule). I counted the sex ratio as 29 males to 55 females (1.9) for Skepchick organized panels, and the sex ratio as 32 males to 29 females (0.91) for non-Skepchick CON panels.

As I understand it, it is Skepchick policy to have mostly females on panels, or an even sex ratio, but occasionally one ends up with more males. All the panels I was on or sat and observed were pretty darn good panels except one, which was an embarrassing waste of time, and that one was four guys with a female moderator who is the best in the world but still could not save it. So, yeah, there may be something to avoiding panels with mostly guys.

I have no idea what the sex ratio of the CON attendees might have been, and I have no idea what the sex ratio of the non Skepchick-organized panels might have been. Actually, I have no idea what the sex ratio of attendees of the Skepchick panels was either but I counted boys and girls in three photographs of the audiences, all taken before panels started and people were still wandering in, and found a total of 52 males and 34 females (0.65). That, however, is a very limited sampling and I wouldn’t read much into it. Or maybe boys like to watch girls, I dunno.

Debbie Goddard

Debbie Goddard. Photo from CFI website.
One of my favorite people is Debbie Goddard, and she was in town for the last few days for SkepchickCON. (That is where we originally met, a few years back.) We managed to have a few longish conversations about the history and current state of skepticism and secularism. Debbie has been involved in these movements for longer than most people I know well, although she is very young. (She started early.) Also, we share something in our respective pasts that that was kind of fun to talk about which I will not bore you with here.

Anyway, while Debbie was in town she did an interview with Minnesota Atheists which I believe was conducted by Stephanie Zvan: African Americans for Humanism, Debbie Goddard on Atheists Talk #175, Sunday, July 8th, 2012

I’m hoping that next year we can talk about the history of the movement and stuff, as she has an interesting perspective.

This cute kitteh needs your help

Cute Kitteh is a Metaphor for Atheist Talk Radio.

What do all these people have in common?

Don Prothero
Ed Brayton
Eugenie Scott
Ira Flatow
Jennifer McCreight
John Abraham
John Hawkes
Lois Shadewald
Lynn Fellman
Maggie Koerth Baker
Martin Rundkvist
Massimo Pigliucci
Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Peter Lipson
PZ Myers
Randy Moore
Sehoya Cotner
Shawn Otto

Well, that’s the short list of people who come to mind when I think of Minnesota Talk Radio, because I’ve either interviewed them or co-interviewed someone with them. Mike Haubrich, Stephanie Zvan and Biodork also come to mind because they’ve run or do run the show. There are many others.

And that is only (well, mainly) the science shows that I know that you’all as Scineceblogs readers would be interested in. There’s also the other stuff.

If you like Minnesota Atheist Talk Radio and want to help keep it on the air, this would be a good time to CLICK HERE and make a small donation. There is a matching fund thingie going on now too. Consider making a recurring donation. Or a matching donation in honor of somebody. Anything will help.

Thank you very much.

Picture of cute kitteh by Difusa