Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public: Br. Guy Consolmagno has a decades-long track record of communicating planetary science to the public while maintaining an active science career. In addition, he occupies a unique position within our profession as a credible spokesperson for scientific honesty within the context of religious belief. Br. Guy uses multiple media to reach his audience. He has authored or edited six books, with “Turn Left at Orion” in its fourth edition of publication. This book alone has had an enormous impact on the amateur astronomy community, engendering public support for astronomy. In addition to writing books, he is a dynamic popular speaker, giving 40 to 50 public lectures every year across both Europe and the United States, reaching thousands of people. He regularly gives interviews on BBC radio shows on planetary science topics and hosted his own BBC radio show discussing the origins of the universe (“A Brief History of the End of Everything”). These appearances address both pure science subjects and science-with-religion subjects. As a Jesuit Brother, Guy has become the voice of the juxtaposition of planetary science and astronomy with Christian belief, a rational spokesperson who can convey exceptionally well how religion and science can co-exist for believers.
How are books born? The one you’re reading now was born when a colleague gave me a photocopied page from a book, without identifying information, and asked me to evaluate it as I would a student’s paper. The page offered “summaries” of the first three of St Thomas Aquinas’ five arguments for God’s existence (popularly called the “Five Ways”). The writer of the passage got the arguments wrong – and then objected to them at precisely those points where he got them wrong.
The writer was Richard Dawkins. The book was The God Delusion. The photocopied passage, had Dawkins turned it in to me for a grade, would have earned him a whopping “D.” And for many people, this D-level work may be their only exposure to Aquinas’ arguments for God’s existence.
And so I bought Dawkins’ book. And as I read it, I was taken in by the author’s swagger. Dawkins is clearly confident, writing as if he knows what he’s talking about. The only problem is that, as often as not, he has no idea what he’s talking about.
“Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley says his retail checks show continued strong demand for the iPhone 3GS at AT&T and iPad 1 at Verizon, even as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 continue to fly off the shelves. At AT&T, for example, the iPhone 3GS is outselling newer Android phones like the HTC Inspire and Motorola Atrix.“
Recently picked up the iPhone 4. Don’t like the limits on the Home button though I understand Apple’s design decisions. In particular, I miss double-clicking to get to the Phone app’s Favorites. But between Voice Control and the App Switcher media controls, the functionality is replicated even if it takes me a little getting used to. And now the only use for the Home button is to manage apps. Nice…if a short term pain.
“SugarSync joins Box.net in offering 5GB free; SugarSync enables home or business users to store files in personal folders in its secure storage and then synchronize them among desktop, laptops and smartphones. – In the fast-growing world of personal online storage, one major item has been static: the amount of free space given away by companies trying to lure you to buy lots more storage space.
That freebie standard of 2GB — offered by several reliable services that include DropBox, Carbonite, Mozy, …”