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...!


Scott Hatfield . . . . October 7, 2007 at 1:32 PM  

Maybe we should have a 'cryptozoology' event and see if the Bee would publicize THAT. On another note, I've heard it claimed that the Bee privately refuses to publicize atheist or skeptic forums because they are afraid of offending the churches which are the major advertisers in their 'Faith and Values' section. If true, that's further fuel for my fire, I guess.

Ah, well. You'll forgive me if I distance myself from any public criticism of the Bee. I still hold out hope that we can get some decent coverage.


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