Thursday, November 15, 2012

Science & SF Tidbits: Best science journalism and rosy futures

Recent reading:

AAAS - Winners Named in Science Journalism Awards »

The American Association for the Advancement of Science announced the winners of the 2012 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Competition. The winners include:

Carl Zimmer, for publication in a "Large Newspaper" (New York Times)
Michelle Nijhuis, for publication in a magazine (Smithsonian)
 Sarah Holt and Laurie Donnelly for "In Depth Reporting" on TV (WGBH/NOVA)
See the announcement for the full list of winners and some back story about how their stories were written.

Image: little brown bat affected by white-nose syndrome. Image from the US Fish and Wildlife Service national Digital Library. (Public Domain). Read Nijhuis's "Crisis in the Caves" to learn more about how this fungal disease is decimating bat populations.

And for a more speculative point of view:

• 7 Best-Case Scenarios for the Future of Humanity »

Are you tired of apocalyptic futures where humanity is enslaved by aliens, or we destroy the environment or each other?  George Dvorsky looks at seven science fictional visions of the future that have a happy ending for humanity. Maybe I'm boring, but I were able to choose, I think I'd prefer a future not so different than today ("status quo") but with cleaner air and more green spaces ("bright green Earth") here on Earth, and colonies out in our solar system ("boldly go").  

I'm skeptical of post-human futures that involve uploading our minds to computers or otherwise transcending our physical bodies. Even if that were possible, I suspect that many (or even most) of us would be loathe to leave the real world behind. I personally like having corporeal form, even with all its flaws.

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