Science is not fun

Opinions personals de membres del CEHIC i alumnes de postgrau

Archive for maig, 2009

maig 27 2009

Science in the press in 1900s Barcelona

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Have a look at the last issue of Centaurus -51(2), May 2009, which includes a collection of articles devoted to science and technology in Spanish, Greek and Danish newspapers around 1900. Two members of CEHIC, Matiana González-Silva and Néstor Herran, have contributed with the article “Ideology, Elitism and Social Commitment: Alternative Images of Science in Two fin de siècle Barcelona Newspapers” (p. 97-115).

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maig 25 2009

Somos todos monos – Atapuerca en la Pedrera

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We do not descend from apes. We are apes. Said Charles Darwin. Said Juan Luis Arsuaga in his talk about Darwin tonight at the Pedrera. (There is a small exhibition of the most famous Atapuerca fossils in the basement.) Full house. I guess more than 200 people wanted to hear what the co-director of the Atapuerca project had to say about the man of the year.
To be honest, I was quite disappointed. His 50-minute talk consisted of more or less well known anecdotes about Darwin and pictures of chimpanzees. Arsuaga got lost in some remote details (Russell Crowe in the movie Master and Commander, the gauchos and the pico Fitzroy) and I was barely able to detect any red thread. The applause, needless to say, was huge. I hope his book “El reloj de Mr. Darwin”, just about to be published, has some more cohesion. Tonight he did not prove to be a brilliant speaker but – to be fair – his books are really well written.
This event confirms my perception that biologists dominate the Darwin year and even cover the historical parts. They are considered to be THE experts. Historians of science have barely left their mark on this jubilee year. No profile, no impact. Not in Catalonia and barely in Austria and Germany, as far as I can see. We are all apes. It just seems that biologists tend to be 500-pound-gorillas thumping their chests while historians of science are some lightweight macaques.

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maig 23 2009

¡Barcelona participa! Conference on Science and the Public in Brighton, June 13-14

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El próximo mes iré a Brighton para participar a una conferencia sobre la ciencia y el publico. El programa ya ha salido – con una sorpresa. La gran mayoridad de participantes son británicos, claro. Hay alguna gente de Suecia, Alemania etc. – y tres charlas de España respectivamente de Barcelona. ¡Impresionante!

Elisabet Rodriguez-Gonzalez, López-Béjar M., Cordón R., Domingo M., Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA), Barcelona: ʻTravelling from the lab to the farm through a new educational websiteʼ

Jordi Ferran Boleda, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya:
ʻProducer meets consumer: popularizing household electricity in the early
twentieth-century in Barcelonaʼ

Oliver Hochadel, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona:
ʻAtapuerca – the making of a magic mountain. Popular science books and
human-origins research in contemporary Spainʼ

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