Science Challenge 201112/27/10 Dawn Morgan Elliott
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:
Former physicist Jeff Shaumeyer worried about American culture excluding the sciences. So in 2004, he began a company called Ars Hermenuetica in an effort to encourage science literacy.
Shaumeyer implemented the Science Reading challenge a few years later, an attempt to inspire average Americans to read popular science.
"It came about when I noticed some online blogging friends who like to read books and write about them on their blogs. And they formed a loose community of people to challenge each other to read more books.
"I noticed no one was challenging non-fiction books. I looked at this as an opportunity to encourage them to read popular science books. I’ve had a dozen and a half the first year. A very useful tool to reach some people.
"This is one side of a two sided project. The book note collection is a short collection of peer review for normal people. Encourages them to read and write. They write very short reviews that we put in our Book Notes project, to have a diverse collection of peer reviews for normal people who may be intimidated in choosing a book."
Can you give a couple of titles good for people without science backgrounds.
"A category called top-rated books, 100 books people thought were unusually good. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book by Oliver Sacks, My Chemical Childhood. Shows an interesting connection between childhood and science. James Burke’s Connections."
You can find a book list of all the books mentioned on this program, as well as links to the 2011 Science Challenge, on our website.