TAM 8 – Friday pt 5


The next speaker of the day was Adam Savage. Yes, THAT Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame. And for those who just emerged from a cave  or climbed out from under a rock in an isolated part of the world, Adam Savage is one of the hosts of the TV show Mythbusters on the Discovery channel.

Along with his myth busting activities, Adam also teaches advanced model building at the San Francisco Academy of Art. He has been building models and making cool sculpture for almost 20 years.

During his talk he spoke about how they do what they do on the show, the methodology they use and the fantastic research staff they have on hand.

I wish I could remember everything that Adam talked about. Unfortunately Adam is one person that I am still very much star struck over and I didn’t take notes because all I could think was “Holy crap! That’s Adam-freakin-Savage up there and I’m 20 feet away from him listening to him talk. I really hope someone else in the skeptical community is able to give a better account of his talk beyond my “-OMG-That’s-Adam-Savage” fangirl freakout.

Sorry.

After Adam was one of my two favorite talks of the weekend: Dr. Pamela Gay, astronomer and co-host of the podcast Astronomy Cast. If you’re not aware, I have a passion for education in the sciences. I personally do not hold a degree of any kind beyond my high school diploma. I’m self-educated. And at the age of 43, I don’t see myself as going back to school. BUT that doesn’t mean that I can’t research and write Fledgeling Skeptic. That doesn’t mean that I can’t run my science-based educational nonprofit The Great Experiment Scholarship, Inc (http://thegreatexperimentscholarship.org That also doesn’t mean that I can’t help scientists with their research. And that’s what Dr. Gay spoke about: the average person doing amazing things for science.

She spoke of  people working with Galaxy Zoo who have found new types of stars and galaxies and named them. She talked about people just like you and me with only a cursory interest or hobbyists who spend hours looking for new galaxies and other really cool space stuff. It is people like us that have created entire classifications for these things. WE are exploring space from our couch. Pretty cool, huh?

And if stars aren’t your thing there’s always the Moon: Moon Zoo A 7th grade class recently discovered a new cave on Mars. So people of ANY age can do science…which is what I’ve been saying. Or if you’re not a fan of The Final Frontier, there’s always scientists on this planet that need our help. Citizens for science hooks up scientists who need help with people who WANT to do science. Check them out at Citizens For Science.

Dr. Gay was so passionate about the subject. She, and so many of us, want everyone who wants to be involved in the sciences to find their passion and get involved. Find a project that sparks your curiosity and do it; whether it’s astronomy or something else, YOU can do science too!

Stay tuned for the next installment of TAM 8.

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