Why the Science Festival matters to us all.
I received a email from festival organizer Larry Bock this morning. COPUS is a proud partner of the USASEF and I felt it important to share some of the motivations behind the festival with the COPUS community.
For the past year I have been organizing the USA Science & Engineering Festival - what I hope will be the country's largest celebration of science and engineering -- a FUN, entertaining, educational and FREE event geared toward reinvigorating the interest of Americans in the Sciences. I have put as much energy and imagination and effort into this as any of the companies I started. And now I need your help getting the word out.Why is this important?
In a nutshell:
- according to Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley, by the end of 2010 (just months from now) 90% of the world's scientists and engineers with advanced degrees will live in Asia.
- 80% of people being trained in the advanced physical sciences in the United States are from abroad.
- because the opportunities are now greater abroad, we are no longer retaining them in the USA.
- If we do not turn this trend around, we will have outsourced innovation.
And once we have outsourced innovation, our country's ability to compete will be over. My concern over this is so great that I have devoted the past year and a half (7 days a week 10 hours a day) to organizing this Science Festival.
So why have a Science Festival? Society gets what it celebrates! As a culture, we celebrate movie stars, rock stars and athletes and we generate a lot of them, but we don't celebrate science and engineering.
The Festival is analogous to an art, music or literary Festival but it is focused on Science and Engineering and accomplishes its mission via hands-on demonstrations, fun demos, and presentations including art, music, comedy, film and theatre.
The Festival kicks off in just three weeks, offering over 150 FREE events for the public - all geared toward sparking an interest in Science. I have pulled together over 750 companies, universities, research labs, federal agencies, professional societies, community groups and science outreach organizations.
You can find out all the details at: http://www.usasciencefestival.org
Click on the calendar to see dates, times and descriptions of all the fascinating events and opportunities.
The grand finale will be a two day EXPO on the National Mall in Washington D.C. (and surrounding venues) on October 23-24, 2010--- over 1,500 fun, hands-on interactive activities and 75 stage shows for all ages. There will be stuff for the mildly curious to the science professional. You can learn about fun topics like the science of the magic of Harry Potter, the mathematics of jump roping, the physics of superheroes, the chemistry of Thanksgiving Dinner, the engineering of baseball bats and balls, the science behind special effects in movies, trends in Global Warming, renewable energy sources of the future .... (This is a completely non-profit, non-commercial, fun and educational initiative.)
You can operate state-of-the-art robots, laugh with science comedians, be mesmerized by science magicians and mathemagicians, converse with astronauts, Nobel Laureates, science celebrities like Bill Nye the Science Guy and even scientists of the past, fly a fighter jet simulator, enter a virtual reality environment, be a CSI agent, make a virus out of marshmallows and toothpicks, try your hand at using a surgical robot, discover methods of measuring global warming, learn how to transform your car so it can run off a cuisinart etc.
And --- while having fun --- you can leave with information about science scholarships, internships, mentorship programs, jobs and much more.
But that's not all - there will be 50 satellite events occurring throughout the United States. Look here to view a map of Satellite Events: www.usasciencefestival.org/satellite-event-directory
So, why should you share this message with everyone you know??
You could be the one who passes it on to the student (or their parent or teacher) who is inspired and excited enough by the science they see to eventually cure AIDS or cancer, solve Global Warming, invent the next source of renewable energy, discover how to extend life or combat world hunger.
We have received bipartisan support for our program from over 100 Senators and Representatives.
Please consider sending this to your employees, colleagues, friends, teachers etc.
Many, many thanks and best regards,
USA Science & Engineering Festival
Follow the "Woodstock of Science":
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