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NCSE Roundup: The Truth About Pandemics

NCSE Round-Up: The Truth About Pandemics

This week in news from the National Center for Science Education, the reality behind a pandemic threat is exposed, a student shares important tips for practicing science and one NCSE team member has some qualms with the latest movie in the Jurassic Park franchise. 

Teach Your Class About the Reality of Pandemics

Ann Reid knows that pandemics make for great drama—viral apocalypses make for great TV shows, moves and the like as people are captivated by the idea of zombie invasion.

But pandemics are a real thing—and there’s a lot to be learned about them.

This week, Reid talks about the reality behind pandemics and the legitimate concerns that surround a possible future pandemic occurring. It is true that every day, experts are actively planning and preparing for the possibility of a viral outbreak.

“Around the world, thousands of virologists, ecologists, epidemiologists, public health, aid, and disaster relief workers are collaborating to assess risk and plan for the worst,” Reid said.

But hysteria is never the answer, she says, and instead investing into research and establishing open lines of communication between health professionals around the world is the way to go.

Read her full post here.

Science Fair-Winning Student Shares Advice

Last May, Stephanie Keep met Emily Zhang at the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair and recently found out Zhang won with her project, “The Causation of Glitches in Pulsars.”

Keep said part of Zhang’s success was her ability to take difficult subject matter and make it easy to understand. She called Zhang one of the best science communicators she’s ever met.

Keep sat down with Zhang and asked the high school junior to share advice for other students following their passion in science.

"I think the most important part is using clear, easy-to-understand language and explaining everything. (Even if I thought a concept I used in my project was well-known, I still explained it as a refresher and to help the listener find their footing in the presentation),” she said.

She also discussed the importance of having passionate teachers and mentors throughout her studies.

Read the full post here.

The Progression of Science as Seen Through Dinosaur Imagery

Science experts like Josh Rosenau and Stephanie Keep have a bone to pick with the creators of Jurassic World: feather-less dinosaurs.

Despite now knowing since the first Jurassic Park was released that dinosaurs were actually super-cool feathered creatures, the creators of Jurassic World made the decision to still feature feather-less dinosaurs—to the dismay of paleontologists everywhere.

"It was disappointing that the latest movie didn’t carry on the original’s commitment to incorporating the best modern science (and that the script didn’t measure up), but it was still quite a spectacle,” Rosenau said.

Read the full post here.

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/29/2015

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