Tumblehome Learning Science Book Fair & Book Talks – Free Events from THL

As part of the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival, THL celebrated science writers and science writing with a dozen award-winning authors & journalists at the Tumblehome Learning First Annual Cambridge Science Book Fair & Book Talk Series on Monday, April 15th, 2013.

The “Best Science Writers” discussion panel featured three Boston area writers & educators*. These writers discussed how they translate complex research for the general public and other topics of interest to them.

  • Dr. George M. Church is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has written or co-written more than 250 publications. His latest is “Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves.” He developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, which helped to inspire the Human Genome Project (HGP). In 2005, he began the Personal Genome Project, which has 16,000 volunteers. Eventually Dr. Church wants to sequence the entire genomes of 100,000 people.
  • Amy Dockser Marcus, lives in the Boston area and is a health and science reporter for the Wall Street Journal. She writes frequently about the challenges that patients with rare diseases face in driving research and drug development, citizen science, and collaborations between scientists, and patients. Her work has won many awards, including the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting for a series of stories about cancer survivors.
  • Dr. Sallie (Penny) Chisholm is an MIT Environmental Sciences professor best known for her research on ocean phytoplankton and how it influences marine policy & management. She received the National Medal of Science in a White House ceremony in February 2013, and has co-authored two award-winning picture books including Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life in the hopes that it will educate people, both young and old, about photosynthesis and its crucial importance to our world.
  • The panel was moderated by the first Pakistani woman string theorist, Dr. Tasneem Zehra Husain. She will soon be releasing her first book, Only The Longest Threads where each chapter is written in the voice of a scientist as he/she reflects on a groundbreaking theoretical development which has recently led (or is leading) to a paradigm shift in Physics

The “Writing a Science Mystery Adventure” panel featured both local and national writers and educators in a discussion about the art of writing a science mystery adventure.

  • Ben Carey is a journalist and reporter on psychology and science for the New York Times. In his two mystery adventures for middle schoolers, Poison Most Vial and The Unknowns, kids use science or mathematics to solve the mystery and save those they love.
  • Gary Braver is the pen name of Dr. Gary Goshgarian, an award-winning professor of English at Northeastern University where he teaches courses in fiction writing and popular culture. He has taught fiction-writing workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe. Gary is the author of eight critically acclaimed suspense novels including Tunnel Vision and Flashback.
  • Michael Erb is a PhD candidate in atmospheric science at Rutgers University. His middle-grade weather mystery, Kelvin McCloud and the Seaside Storm, recounts the story of a13-year and his uncle who investigate a wealthy banker’s death in a hailstorm.
  • The panel was moderated by physician, educator and author Dr. Pendred (Penny) Noyce, co-founder of Tumblehome Learning, a transmedia publishing company that helps kids imagine themselves as young scientists or engineers through exciting mystery and adventure tales. Her books include The Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip and The Vicious Case of the Viral Vaccine.

The “Science in Science Fiction” panel also featured local and national writers and educators in a discussion about topics such as the accuracy, nature, and kinds of science portrayed in science fiction and how science fiction can motivate interest in science.

  • Maria Sosa is the Project Director for the Science & Literacy for Health Project and the Editor-in-Chief of Science Books & Films at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Education Programs in Washington, D.C. She serves on several advisory boards related to libraries and children’s science books.
  • Dr. Sidney Perkowitz, professor of physics at Emory University, GA has pursued research on the properties of matter and has written more than 100 scientific papers and books. He has conducted many presentations about science to non-scientists and has written for the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and the Encyclopedia Britannica. His book Hollywood Science discusses the portrayal of science in more than one hundred films, including science fiction, scientific biographies, and documentaries.
  • Dr. Debbie Chachra is an Associate Professor of Materials Science at Olin College of Engineering, where she teaches and does research in a range of fields, including engineering design, education and materials science (including studying plastic made by bees). She writes and speaks widely on materials science, design and the future, including participating in the transatlantic Thrilling Wonder Stories event, writing for Warren Ellis’s site, and being interviewed for the New Inquiry. She also is behind the “Daily Idioms, Annotated” Tumblr of words and ideas.
  • The panel was moderated by semiconductor inventor/entrepreneur and Tumblehome Learning co-founder Barnas Monteith. Monteith is the most recent Chair of the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair and a member of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, as well as an author for Tumblehome Learning’s inaugural Galactic Academy of Science series including The Furious Case of the Fraudulent Fossil.

For more info on the THL-Cambridge Science Festival Book Fair & Book Talks contact: pat @ tumblehomelearning.com

* Dr. E.O. Wilson, who was originally scheduled as a “Best Science Writers” panelist, was unable to attend.

The Tumblehome Learning booth at the 2012 U.S.A. Science Book Fair in Washington, D.C.