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2012 Archive

  • SLAC 50 Years
    SLAC: 50 Years of Scientific Discovery

    For five decades, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has pioneered groundbreaking discoveries from astrophysics to energy science. The home of cutting-edge facilities and technologies, scientists uncover mysteries on the smallest and largest scales – from the workings of the atom to the enigmas of the cosmos. Research conducted at SLAC has led to Nobel Prizes for ...

  • End of Daze - Steve Carell, Keira Knightley
    End of Daze, with Chris McKay (Steve Carell & Keira Knightley), Dec 1

    On December 1st, with just one month to meet the legendary “End of Days” before 2013, Wonderfest invites you to a more rational examination of doomsday. End of Daze: Does Hollywood Get Doomsday Right? presents uber-droll planetary scientist Chris McKay introducing a special screening of 2012’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. ...

  • Zeke Kossover's Physics Circus
    Physics Circus, with Zeke Kossover @ AT&T Park

    Wonderfest presents The Physics Circus, an exhibition in the Bay Area Science Festival, Discovery Days at AT&T Park. With equipment generously donated by PASCO Scientific, physics teachers Zeke Kossover and Tucker Hiatt will guide you in the use of over a dozen wondrous devices: bicycle gyroscope, marshmallow blowgun, compression igniter, inertia wand, ultrasonic motion detector, ...

  • When Worlds Collide
    When Worlds Collide & Star Gazing, with NASA’s Dr. Kevin Zahnle

    The famous K/T extinction event (death knell of the dinosaurs) shows that, even today, the collision of Earth with a small world gone astray can refresh the face of our planet. Impacts were much larger and more frequent on the early Earth. In all likelihood, impacts posed the greatest challenge to the survival of ...

  • Does the Scientific Approach to Cooking Kill the Joy?
    Scientific Cooking Kills the Joy?

    As a cookbook, Joy of Cooking has sold over 18 million copies. As a philosophy, it has enriched countless fine meals. Scientists contend that science intensifies the joy of cooking. From boiling water to baking a soufflé, scientific insights can inform and enhance most every kitchen experience.

  • Is Nature or Man the Most Effective Bioterrorist?
    Is Nature or Man the Most Effective Bioterrorist? Falkow & Relman

    Since at least the beginning of the written record, epidemics of infectious disease have swept through plant and animal populations, including humans, and altered the course of history. The unexpected, diverse, and seemingly sophisticated composition and behavior of these naturally-occurring epidemic agents has prompted many to proclaim Mother Nature to be a far more effective ...

  • BBQ with the Stars

    Join world-renowned astronomers for an end-of-summer picnic on Mt. Hamilton! Event begins with outdoor catered BBQ (with vegetarian options) and live 1970s music from Silicon Valley’s Dr. West. Mingle, chat, and ask your cosmic questions of UC astronomy professors Alex Filippenko, Geoff Marcy, and Sandra Faber.

  • Cosmos Reconsidered - Alex Filippenko
    Watch: COSMOS Reconsidered with Alex Filippenko

    Renowned researcher-teacher (and co-discoverer of dark energy) Alex Filippenko will present key video excerpts from Carl Sagan’s legendary COSMOS television series, offer up-to-date commentary, and invite audience questions. Your browser does not support the video tag. Do you remember when Carl Sagan urged us to explore beyond the “shores of the cosmic ocean” and to search for ...

  • Hunting the Elements – PBS-NOVA Special Screening

    Where do nature’s building blocks, called the elements, come from? They’re the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphones. To unlock their secrets, David Pogue, the lively host of NOVA’s popular “Making Stuff” series and technology correspondent of The New York Times, spins ...

  • Watch: Health Effects of EM Radiation

    What are the health effects of electromagnetic (EM) radiation? After exploring the fundamental (and fun) physics of electric and magnetic fields, we will see just what EM waves are. Then we’ll consider how this radiation can, and might, and cannot disrupt the mechanisms of the body. Finally, we’ll examine the evidence — both anecdotal and ...

  • The Milky Way as a Dark Matter Laboratory

    More than 80% of the material universe consists of stuff we don’t understand. This “dark matter” gravitates, but it does very little else; in particular, it doesn’t emit, reflect, or even absorb light. Over the next decade, a combination of astronomical observations and particle physics experiments hold great promise to finally shed light on the ...

  • Does Corporate Funding Corrupt Science? – Panel Discussion

    Some 65% of all research and development in the U.S. is funded by private interests. History shows that the corporate funding of scientific research can be problematic — the tobacco industry offers a potent example. When corporations fund science, is truth the ultimate goal, or is stockholder profit?

  • Incomplete Nature: Consciousness, and Purpose?Terrence Deacon, Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley

    Incomplete Nature begins by accepting what other theories try to deny: that, although mental contents do indeed lack these material-energetic properties, they are still entirely products of physical processes and have an unprecedented kind of causal power that is unlike anything that physics and chemistry alone have so far explained. Paradoxically, it is the intrinsic ...