Bad Astronomy

Announcing the Boulder Science Festival 2013!

Boulder Science Festival

Photo by Boulder Science Festival

I am very pleased to announce Boulder Science Festival 2013!

The Science Festival is a celebration of the amazing amount of science being done in my hometown of Boulder, Colo. It will be held at the Millennium Hotel on the weekend of Oct. 12-13. We’ll have speakers, vendors, nature hikes, rock climbing, biking, and even a free tour of a local craft beer brewery.

Boulder is a funny place; people know of it through Mork and Mindy or its reputation as a free-spirited town. But in fact there are a lot of scientific heavy hitters here. We have the University of Colorado, the Space Science Institute, Ball Aerospace (which is building some of the major components of the James Webb Space Telescope, which is Hubble’s successor*), and much more. I love science, and I love Boulder, so I’m pretty excited about this.

 Carolyn Porco
Dr. Carolyn Porco

Photo by Carolyn Porco

We have a great lineup of speakers for the weekend. Our keynote is none other than planetary scientist Dr. Carolyn Porco, immaging team leader for the Saturn Cassini mission. A world-renowned speaker, she will use Cassini pictures to take us on a tour of Saturn, its magnificent rings, and the moon Enceladus, which has towering geysers of liquid water erupting from its south pole.

I’ll be giving a talk about the Mars rover Curiosity and its discoveries on the red planet, and we have other speakers who will tell us about geology, paleontology, renewable energy, and even the science of beer brewing.

Danielle Anderson
Danielle Anderson

Photo by Danielle Anderson

We have outside activities planned as well; mid-October is pretty nice in Boulder. My friend and astronomer Nicole Gugliucci will be on hand to give hands-on astronomy demos, including making a comet out of household materials as well as a cratering activity that shows how impacts carve out holes in our planet. We have many other exhibits and demos planned, too. On Saturday we have a special guest: singer Danielle Anderson from Danielle Ate the Sandwich, who will serenade us during lunch (where there will be a selection of local beers, too). Check the schedule for details.

The Science Fest is being run by my wife, Marcella, and me. We started a science vacation company called Science Getaways, where we add science to vacations. They’ve been going really well, and we realized that while lots of big cities have science festivals, Boulder has just as much to offer, and we have gorgeous scenery to boot. So we figured, why not?

Registration is open, and rooms are available at the Millennium Hotel. I hope to see lots of BABloggees there!

In the original text I had written that Ball manufactured *all of the major components on JWST. Ball built the mirrors for JSWT, but many other companies (like Northrup Grumman) are involved in building major components.