Why you should care
Because science is crazy/sexy/cool.
First we shook up Washington, D.C., with NPR and ballet prodigy Misty Copeland. Then we took to the streets in New York City’s Times Square on St. Patrick’s Day. Most recently, OZY saw stars at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California. Scientific stars, that is.
…an evening of discovery and discussion…
OZY was thrilled to feature UC Berkeley astronomy professor Dr. Alex Filippenko, as well as biologist slash hip-hop maven slash Scientific American blogger Dr. Danielle Lee, who participated in an evening of discovery and discussion on Thursday, April 3, in a fascinating conversation moderated by OZY CEO Carlos Watson.
Dr. Filippenko, a director on Chabot’s Foundation Board, was part of the team that made the 2011 Nobel Prize-winning discovery that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. And he’s obsessed with observing total solar eclipses; he’s sighted 13 and counting. Dr. Lee is an animal behavior researcher who champions diversity in STEM fields, and helps universities and scientific journals engage with underserved communities.
Thanks to them, the crowd at Chabot learned that every single person is made up of “starstuff” from galaxies that exploded eons ago. Also learned: Lovely songbirds, known as icons of monogamy, are actually not faithful to their mates. Dr. Lee set us straight — the notion of monogamy is a myth, no more so than in the animal kingdom. In fact, “even rodents run interference” the way humans “run game.”
The audience at Chabot was a bright group themselves — asking questions about everything from the newly discovered moon Europa on the edge of the planet Jupiter, to whether we will ever get to the point as human beings where we will just know everything. (Dr. Filippenko says no.)
We’d like to thank the Chabot Space and Science Center, an observatory and planetarium located in the hills of Oakland, which is the largest public telescope facility in the country. It’s also known for its interactive exhibits, classes and workshops, and an After Dark program on Friday and Saturday nights, when the public is invited to use the center’s three giant telescopes.
How cool is that? No wonder Bill Nye — yes, that Bill Nye — serves as a director on Chabot’s foundation board. We’re such fans that OZY is making a donation to Chabot’s Galaxy Explorer K-12 program, as well as to science field trips for select schools within the Oakland Unified School District.
We’d also like to give a big shout out to the other sponsors who helped make this event happen.