Philcon goings-on

The Moon Ranger and I will be heading up to Philcon this weekend, which is historically notable this year for being the 75th anniversary of the oldest science fiction convention in the United States. I will be attached to the following panels:

Sat 10:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two—How the Internet and Texting Have Changed Sexual Mores

Robert Heinlein famously commented that anyone could have predicted the internal combustion engine would revolutionize transportation, but only a science fiction writer could have predicted how it would influence mating habits. Technologies like the internet and “texting” have been doing the same thing. We’ll explore the impact of instant communication and online presence has had on our society.

Sun 10:00 AM in Plaza V (Five)—Universal Gene Testing: Boon, Bane, or Boondoggle?

Catching criminals CSI-style. Finding kidnapped children. Standardized haplotype-profiles for drug prescriptions at the doctor’s office. Screening for chronic, inherited conditions. Is it time for a universal DNA database? What are the costs? What are the dangers to civil liberties?

Laura will be involved with:

Sat 6:00 PM in Plaza III (Three)—The James Webb Space Telescope

When the James Webb Telescope launches in 2018, it will be able to see the first galaxies formed after the Big Bang. The Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System. Laura Burns is a contract engineer with NASA and worked on the James Webb Space Telescope for 11 years. She will talk about the project and its future impact on our view of the Universe.

As always, I will be otherwise hanging about, and will be posting occasional pithy observations. If you are going, I look forward to seeing you there!

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