May 18, 2015 8:31 AM
Brilliant Blunders - a review
Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of the Universe
, by Mario Livio.
Several times as I was reading this book I was in a public area and, surprisingly, I had several individuals ask me what it was about. Perhaps the title and book cover intrigued them as much as me. It was easy to tell them because the author laid out his plan in the initial chapter.
May 11, 2015 7:37 AM
MOOCs - lifelong learning made easy
English is a fascinating language. Bill Bryson in his book The Mother Tongue
explains that English favours crisp truncations with many words coming from acronyms. Many of us have probably only known the word laser without knowing its etymology. Laser began as the acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Another word, MOOC, introduced as an acronym for massive open online course in 2008 describes a model for delivering online content to any person who wishes access to learning. The New York Times named 2012 the year of the MOOC
. MOOCs are a new and cool way to add some structure to lifelong learning. The price is right, free in many cases, you pay only if you wish to have a certificate or gain credits towards a degree. This is my experience with a MOOC.
April 29, 2015 8:39 AM
Genome Alberta Award Winners - Science Fairs 2015
Science Fair season is almost over in Alberta. The top students from the regional fairs will soon be going to the Canada-Wide Science Fair
(CWSF), which will be held this year in Fredericton, NB from May 11 to 16. It will be an exciting time for ‘Team Alberta’ and we at Genome Alberta wish them well on this adventure.
Genome Alberta sponsors awards for all Alberta science fair regions. Many of the Genome Alberta award winners will be representing their region with competitive projects at this year’s CWSF. We support independent research project-based learning and we are very proud of the outstanding students who are recipients of this year’s Genome Alberta Awards.
Here is a list of the 2015 Genome Alberta award winners.
April 6, 2015 4:16 PM
Inheritance: How our Genes Change our Lives - a review
Recently, as I was browsing the science section of my local bookstore, I spotted a very new release by Sharon Moalem. I was well aware of this author as I had previously reviewed his excellent book Survival of the Sickest
. I like his style. He starts with case studies from his practice and then works through the algorithms of his thought processes as he solves medical mysteries. Along the way he gives us a great deal of information regarding not just the specific problem, but the various other diseases that may have been considered when initially presented with the list of symptoms.
In his most recent book Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives and Our Lives Change Our Genes, Moalem takes us on a quick journey through our genome...
March 14, 2015 8:28 AM
DNA Day: an opportunity for interviewing experts
Even before the age of the internet, some teachers encouraged top students to follow their passion areas by contacting experts to learn more than the traditional curriculum. It was one of those ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ pedagogical strategies. When it involved writing letters, the student numbers involved were likely small; plus, students would have gained considerable knowledge in formulating questions and perhaps getting ready for a follow-up phone call or even a visit to a local university.
What has happened now that scientists’ contact information is readily available online?