Tag Archives: Science

Dragon*Con goings-on

Worldcon was great, and interesting, and fun, and then it was back to the usual life-things for a week, and now I have arrived at excatly the opposite of usual life-things: Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA.

This time around I will be involved in events! Behold:

Getting Away with Murder ~ Sat 01:00 pm ~ 202 – Hilton
Description: Don’t kill people. But if you *were* to kill someone? Science can help you get away with it.

Body Alteration ~ Sun 10:00 am ~ 202 – Hilton
Description: Changing our bodies with prosthetics & implants, & our minds with chemicals. What’s next?

Infectious Diseases Want YOU ~ Sun 04:00 pm ~ 202 – Hilton
Description: Ebola, MERS, pertussis, measles…Learn the many ways you might die!

Future Drugs ~ Sun 08:30 pm ~ 202 – Hilton
Description: What does the future hold for drugs?

The ever lovely Moon Ranger is also here, and also discussing SCIENCE:

James Webb Space Telescope ~ Fri 2:30 pm ~ 309-310 – Hilton
Description: “Hubble’s Replacement”, the JWST will study every phase of our universe’s history. On it’s launch in 2018, it will be the next great observatory.

Where Science Intersects Culture ~ Sat 7:00 pm ~ 202 – Hilton
Description: Science is a human process that isn’t separate from cultural outlook, as things like the 30-meter telescope protests and #shitstorm show. What positive things can we take away from conflicts like this, and how can we mitigate our cultural biases when it comes to science?

2015 Parsec Awards ~ Sun 05:30 pm ~ Regency V – Hyatt
Description: The Parsec Award is available for Sci-fi & Fantasy Original Content and Speculative Fiction.

Kids Space Workshop ~ Mon 9:00 am ~ Hilton Crystal Ballroom
Description: Space is Cool! Space is FUN! And we show you how! It’s space science playtime! (Kid Friendly)

Satellites Old & New: What They Can & Can’t Do ~ Mon 1:00 pm ~ 309-310 – Hilton
Description: The launch of Sputnik, the 1st satellite, was the real start of the space age. Now, life as we know it could not exist without them!

Meanwhile, I will be tossing out the occasional #DragonCon thoughts here, and pleae feel free to say Hallo! if you are around!

Balticon goings-on

Physician v. Admiral
Physician v. Admiral from Balticon 2005, CC BY-NC-SA image by docoperon via Flickr

Memorial Day is nigh, which means another Balticon approaches, which means SCIENCE and other tomfoolery on my part as a guest of that august event. My schedule for the con is as follows:

  • Friday, May 22, 4:00 PM ~ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Medical Studies: A Skeptical Journal Club ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ One of the most important aspects of being a healthy skeptic is knowing: just because a certain topic is studied and an article published, does not mean the study was conducted scientifically, nor that the authors reached a conclusion supported by the data. So, when someone states that a study ‘has major flaws’ or ‘was well-done,’ precisely what does that mean? Join us as we analyze two different journal articles in detail, focusing on the good, the bad, and the ugly of how studies are done and interpreted.
  • Saturday, May 23, 12:00 PM ~ Blood, Sweat, and Fears: Infectious Outbreaks Among Us ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ Infectious outbreaks have swept through the human population throughout the existence of our species. Despite technological improvements and medical advances, pandemics continue to create illness and fear. We’ll look at how three different infectious outbreaks are trying to kill us, and how we are fighting back — Ebola, Chikungunya, and Enterovirus D68.
  • Monday, May 25, 10:00 AM ~ Allergies on Alien Planets? What would REALLY kill you? ~ Salon A ~ Sam Scheiner PhD (M), John Cmar MD, Perrianne Lurie MD, Thomas Talbot MD (50 minutes) ~ So your space ship has landed on that Gem of a New Planet, you’ve established a colony. YEAH! Then folks start getting ill …
  • Otherwise I will be lurking about the Science, Skeptical Thinking, and New Media tracks, as well as doing my fair share of gaming, specifically committing vast amounts of dragon-murder in D&D Attack Wing. Or so I hope. It’s the little things, you see.

As always, I will be accompanied by the beautiful and crafty Moon Ranger Laura, who’s schedule is as below:

  • Saturday, May 23, 9:00 AM ~ Women of Science: A History ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ A look at the influential women of SCIENCE past.
  • Saturday, May 23, 6:00 PM ~ Parsec Awards 10 Year Anniversary ~ Tack ~ Laura A Burns (M), Christiana Ellis, Tee Morris (50 minutes) ~ A Parsec Award Winning Podcaster, Parsec Judge, and Steering Committee Member discuss what it takes to craft an Award winning entry. The panel will cover a review of this year’s rules, submission criteria and tips from the experts.
  • Sunday, May 24, 10:00 AM ~ In Search of New Podcasts ~ Tack ~ Laura A Burns (M), Christiana Ellis, Tim Dodge, Patrick Scaffido (50 minutes) ~ This is the age of Serial and Welcome to Night Vale. Podcasts are bigger than ever. But what are the podcasts in the margins, the ones that haven’t hit it big? Panelists will share their top recommendations. Bring your notebooks and your podcatchers, and prepare for new audio pleasures.
  • Sunday, May 24, 6:00 PM ~ International Space University: The Update! ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ A discussion about the International Space University, it’s programs and how you can participate, even if you aren’t a student.

Balticon 2015 is May 22-25, 2015, at the Hunt Valley Inn, 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031. Follow me by my trail of Twitter-droppings, and if you happen to be there, please say hallo!

science-based medical links of the moment

CC BY-NC image by clotho98 via Flickr
CC BY-NC image by clotho98 via Flickr

Dragon*Con Goings-On

I am in Atlanta, Georgia, for the five-day festival of chaos that is Dragon*Con. While here, I will be involved in discussions of SCIENCE and things podcastery, namely:

A Practical Guide to the End of the WorldFri 07:00 pm, 202 (Hilton) – Earthquakes, diseases, asteroid strikes, solar flares: the universe is trying to kill us, but this discussion separates disaster fact from fiction.

The Future of MedicineSat 08:30 pm, 202 (Hilton) – Learn about the future of medicine, including 3D printing, tissue engineering, cell therapy, and more.

Disasterpiece Theatre LIVESun 11:30 am, 203 (Hilton) – Formulating Hollywood movie pitches sometimes means kicking around ideas like theme, plot events, and casting.

Ask a ScientistSun 01:00 pm, Atlanta (Sheraton) – You’ve got science questions? We’ve got science answers! Expert scientists explain anything you want to know about science.

2014 Parsec AwardsSun 05:30 pm, Regency V (Hyatt) – A celebration of speculative fiction podcasting. Awards are given in numerous categories, from specific fiction content to fans news reporting.

The Solve for X Science ShowSun 10:00 pm, Grand Ballroom East (Hilton) – Puppet show, PowerPoint karaoke, quiz game, storytelling: the scientists are loose, and nobody knows what could happen next.

Please feel free to say hello if you happen by, or track me by my pithy comments and observations.

Loncon 3 goings-on

I am in London, England, for Loncon 3, the 72nd Annual World Science Fiction Convention. While here, I will be participating in discussions of all manner of SCIENCE, namely:

Communicating Risk and UncertaintyThursday 20:00 – 21:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL) – The risks of crossing the road are much higher than the risks that the LHC will make a black hole, or that your plane will crash. But we don’t worry about crossing the road. How can we improve our ways of thinking about and analysing risk?

Allergies on Alien PlanetsFriday 19:00 – 20:00, London Suite 1 (ExCeL) – Planets that have aliens with big teeth, volcanos and poisonous atmospheres present obvious hazards, but what other trouble might be lying in wait for those visiting alien planets. Will the local microbes lunch on us and our food, pollute our water supply, ignore us or give us allergies? Diseases killed more colonists on Earth than animals or the colonised, but will this work elsewhere? Just why are our planets so safe?

Podcasting ScienceSaturday 10:00 – 11:00, London Suite 2 (ExCeL) – What makes a good science podcast? Who is making them, how are they made, what’s out there that our panel can recommend? What are the advantdages and disadvantages of having them done by professional scientists and by people acting more as journalists?

The Bugs Are Coming BackMonday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL) – Will we soon look back on the 20th century as a golden age of disease free living? How did we get to this state of affairs and what can be done about it?

Please feel free to say hello if you happen by, or track me by my pithy comments and observations.

catching up on Bad Doctoring in The Secret Lair

My weekly consultation is live at The Secret Lair, in which I clinically evaluate some medical learning objectives that everyone should know.

Additionally, I have neglected to mention my last couple of Lair columns in this space: a followup on the WHO/mobile phone decision with a close look at the INTERPHONE study, and a report on the Marian Call/Art of Akira event at ThinkGeek headquarters.

Farpoint 2010 schedule

Farpoint ConventionAnd so it came to pass that con season truly gets into swing with Farpoint. I will be trolling about, looking for mischief, and pontificating on influenza and other science-y topics, as I am want to do. My schedule:

  • H1N1: State of the Influenza, Saturday 3pm (Ridgely 2) – Flu season isn’t over yet, but this current lull in activity is an excellent chance to look back on some of lessons learned, both on the science of influenza as well as the failure of communication to the public by medical professionals/government/media.
  • Science in Social Networking, Sunday 1pm (Ridgely 2) – Science communication has always been something that is often done poorly, and we’ll be examining some of the positive and negative ways science is interfacing (or not) with the booming area of social networking.

And, when Laura is not plotting the Redhead Global Domination Effort with Felicia Day, she can be found here:

  • Social Media 101, Saturday 10 am (Ridgely 1) – 2010 sees use with a metric buttload of social media programs in existence, with Google Buzz being the latest. A review of what’s out there, what’s useful, and how designer intent doesn’t always match up with what the users do.
  • Citizen Scientists, Saturday 6pm (Ridgely 2) – Anyone can be involved in cutting edge research projects, and it’s not only a blast, but easier than you might think… Laura will tell you how.
  • Science and Social Networking, Sunday 1pm (Ridgely 2) – As noted above, except that Laura is both more attractive than I am, and likely has more interesting things to say as well.
  • James Webb Space Telescope, Sunday 3pm (Ridgely 2) – JWST is moving into the ground assembly phase, and Laura will give us an update on the the latest with this amazing project.

The snow is melting away, and things are shaping up to be an excellent time, so if you are in the area, stop on by. Directions are here, and the full programming list is here. You can follow events of note with me on Twitter, or better yet, I hope to see you there!

(When the redheads take over the world, it pays to be as close to them as possible. Just saying.)