2010’s dialogues, Sagan Prize, and website polish

Dear Wonderfest friend,

All the big ducks are in a row.  Wonderfest’s six signature dialogues have been confirmed and scheduled for 2010.  In previous newsletters, you learned about three dialogue titles and speaker pairs.  I am mighty happy to announce the remaining three:

Is Mathematics More Art than Science?
Keith Devlin, H-STAR Institute Executive Director, Stanford
Alejandro Garcia, Professor of Physics, San Jose State
How Did Evolution Shape Human Behavior?
David DeGusta, Research Paleontologist, Paleoanthropology Institute
Henry Gilbert, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, CSU East Bay
Do We Understand the Structure of the Universe?
Lloyd Knox, Professor of Physics, UC Davis
Chung-Pei Ma, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley


To see precisely when and where all six dialogues take place on the weekend of Nov. 6-7, please visit the newly refurbished Wonderfest website.  Here, technical director Eric Yao has designed a treat for the eye and for the cursor!  Evidence of the new look at Wonderfest.org can be seen in the masthead of this newsletter.

See if this sounds familiar: “I hold that the popularization of science is successful if, at first, it does no more than spark the sense of wonder.”  With those words from The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan inspired Wonderfest.  Accordingly, the advisors and trustees of Wonderfest have selected the 2010 recipient of our Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.  He is Donald Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at Stanford.

In his capacity as public-spirited researcher, editor-in-chief of the journal Science, President of Stanford University, and Commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Kennedy has earned our deep respect for his remarkable contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of science.  Dr. Kennedy’s Sagan Prize celebration will be part of the big Wonderfest evening at Stanford on Saturday, Nov. 6.  Please join us!

Wondrous regards,

Tucker Hiatt, director

P.S. This Sunday, Sept. 26, the Sagan Prize winner of 2004 will provide an exciting evening of astronomy at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center.  Wonderfest luminary Alex Filippenko will present “Expolanets Galore: The Status of the Search for Other Earths.”  Get the full scoop here.