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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Next Gould and Sagan?

UPDATED: It's serendipity—August Berskshire sent me this link to a video clip of Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking at the Beyond Belief conference (notice Dawkins in the audience), and he's a scream! Very entertaining, very informative—I'll have to learn more about this guy. Here he speaks about how he learned about the poetry of science from an art class. What a wonderful speaker.

Javier, the Science Pundit, also sent me this video of Tyson's recent Book TV appearance regarding his latest book, Death by Black Hole.

As I said, I just can't believe that there aren't people out there to take the place of Gould and Sagan. There are probably many, many people, just not as many polymaths anymore (as Randy Olson points out).

I'm also a fan of Sylvester James Gates, Jr., a physicist and another engaging speaker, and naturally, an active advocate for science.
If I may say, I think the blog RedStateRabble is a national treasure.

Talk about being on the front lines—and about asking the questions that need to be asked.

Via the RSR site I got an opportunity to ask the filmmaker Randy Olson (A Flock of Dodos) my question about the successor to Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan, who were and are my heroes, as the spokesmen for science in America. The discussion is here.

Now, RSR supplies an answer to the question. And a good candidate, too, along with Ken Miller and Neil deGrasse Tyson as suggested by Mousie Cat in the comments, and Richard Dawkins, who has already assumed much of the responsibility for two nations, and PZ Myers, of course. (If you haven't read Miller's Finding Darwin's God, do so—it's a great book, although I admit I just didn't get the last two chapters.)

Perhaps there is no one candidate today. Perhaps there is no one scientific giant anymore. That makes sense—these are new times, and we must turn to many people, including nonspecialists in science, activists and educators, to be the spokespeople for science in America. Perhaps now it must be a collective effort, a grassroots, noncentralized effort. There are now many heroes out there, many of them teachers and communicators—and among them I would nominate bloggers like Pat.

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Blogger The Science Pundit said...

I love Neil deGrasse Tyson. He was on BookTV last weekend. If you have some time, you should watch it. It's well worth it.


March 02, 2007 6:49 PM  
Blogger 386sx said...

Don't miss the big Dawkins v. Tyson standoff too. It nearly came to fisticuffs. Also, thanks for the link. I'm going to be rolling in the dough now, and it's gonna be sweet. Oh yeah.

March 03, 2007 1:01 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Thanks, Javier. I think I've become a new fan. I really do like this guy--I watched him a little on YouTube yesterday and he's really fun.

386sx, I was just going to post that very same video! I think Tyson's comments about how to be an educator are very insightful, and as I can be very blunt myself I took them to heart. (BTW, aren't you the one who didn't like my "Mount Improbable" joke about Rush Limbaugh @ Pharyngula?) :-)

Since I can't view your profile, I'm not sure which link you mean (unless it's the link in this post). At any rate, welcome!

March 03, 2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

And I wanna hear more about the money. Where? When do I get my cut?

March 03, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger 386sx said...

The youtube video where Tyson speaks about how he learned about the poetry of science from an art class is a video from my youtube page. So that's what I was talking about.

I actually thought the Mount Improbable joke was hilarious. (I was just goofing around.) However, I was cracking up for days on the Statue of Liberty joke, haha. Anyways, I might be a star now, but I will never forget about the little people.

March 03, 2007 2:11 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Ah, I see. Thanks! Actually I had laughed at what you said, too.

Someone at RedStateRabble made an even better joke, after Rush claimed that he needed viagra to help him not toss and turn in his sleep ("So, it's like a kick-stand?"). Hahahaha.

*Searches aging memory in vain for statue of liberty joke*

March 03, 2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Thanks, Javier, I watched it. You know what? I have one of his books and I haven't read it yet. I love his humor. He seems very approachable.

March 03, 2007 5:05 PM  

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