Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Café Scientifique - El Dia De Los Muertos

On Oct. 1, we had a successful launch to the Central Valley Café Scientifique, our new forum for informal conversations about science, centered around topical presentations by area scientists. The first event, where Paul Crosbie talked about what's killing Sea Otters drew a sizeable crows of science enthusiasts, almost overflowing Lenny's Bistro Deli. If you are in the vicinity next Monday, I would like to invite you to our next meeting, a post-Halloween / Day of the Dead postmortem special. Here's the announcement:

Central Valley Café Scientifique presents:

"Over My Dead Body: A Coffeehouse Discussion"


Dr. Kevin Miller
Forensic Biochemist, Chemistry Dept. CSU-Fresno

Monday, November 5, 2007, from 6:30-8:30 PM
Lenny's Bistro Deli in River Park (across from Edwards' cinemas)

For further details, visit:


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Teaching science in a benighted valley

Why is it that a wonderful week which saw the successful full-house launch of the Central Valley Café Scientifique on Monday night, and ended with a stimulating Saturday morning workshop on Understanding Evolution organized by the Fresno Unified School District is brought crashing down on Sunday morning by the Fresno Bee with this dreck splashed on its front page?? Pardon me, but my scientist colleagues (and I) from CSU-Fresno and science teachers from FUSD, have worked our asses off (with help from our administrators and civic leaders), to keep science in the forefront of the cultural discourse in the Central Valley. Especially this past week which felt pretty rewarding last night! Yet the Bee does not think even the Café Scientifique, of which they have been made aware multiple times by several of us and even the university, merits not one lousy little paragraph of coverage - but some local schoolteacher's search for Bigfoot (yes, you read that right!) merits full frontal coverage??!! What is wrong with this scenario? Why are these demons still haunting this valley?

I had just woken up from what I thought had been a well-earned night of sleep - the first full 7-hours of sleep I've had in a week that saw the above events and my wife's successful Ph.D. thesis defense (also in the sciences - she studied the nocturnal prosimian primate Slender Loris) sandwiched in between - only to be smacked squarely in the face by the Bee and its biigfoot story. Please excuse me if I feel like crawling straight back into bed now...

I swear, some days, its just so damn hard to keep that candle lit in the dark, Carl...!



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