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Misconceptions About Science seminars to be held Sept. 14-Dec. 9

BOONE- Clarifying common misconceptions is the theme of this fall’s Misconceptions About Science seminars Sept. 14-Dec. 9 hosted by the Mathematics and Science Education Center.

Guest speakers will explain common misconceptions and why they are incorrect on topics including biology, climate change, chemistry, physics and astronomy, geology and technology.  Speakers are Appalachian faculty unless otherwise noted.

Seminars will be held in Walker Hall Room 105, 6-8 p.m. Refreshments will be provided 6-6:30 p.m.

The Sept. 22 talk will begin at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Inn and Conference Center’s Powers Grand Hall.

All seminars are open to the public.

The schedule of seminars is as follows:

Sept. 14—“Hypotheses, Theories, Laws and Facts in Science:  What’s the Big Deal and Why Should You Care?” Dr. Max Dass, Department of Biology

Sept. 22—“Observed and Projected Climate Change,” David Easterling, National Climate Data Center in Asheville.  Easterling is Chief of the Scientific Services Division at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville and lead author on the Nobel Prize winning IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Sept. 30—“Science, Pseudoscience and Junk Science: How Knowing the Difference Between Good and Bad Science is Important for Maintaining a Scientifically Literate and Democratic Society,” Dr. Howie Neufeld, Department of Biology

Oct. 7—“Chemicals: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” Sammye Sigmann, Department of Chemistry.  Does “organic” automatically mean good?

Oct. 14—“Misconceptions in Nanoscience,” Dr. Tonya Coffey, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Nov. 4—“Answers to Questions Concerning Genetics,” Dr. Eva Gonzales, Department of Biology.  Can two blue-eyed parents have a brown-eyed child?  Can two brown-eyed parents have a blue-eyed child?

Nov. 18—“A Circular Misconception: The Geologic Time Scale is Based on Biological Evolution and…Biological Evolution is Based on the Geologic Time Scale,” Dr. Steve Hageman, Department of Geology

Dec. 2—“Astronomy: Ellipses, The Big Bang, SETI..,” Dr. Jon Saken, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dec. 9—“The Potential of Alternative Energy Sources,” Dr. Dennis Scanlin, Department of Technology.  Is there enough wind energy potential to make a significant contribution to our state energy portfolio?