Monday, April 20, 2009

"Science/philosophy lectures" poll

Harlow Shapley

Do you attend science/philosophy lectures?


How things have changed. Lectures, the big ones, have taken on celebrity status--not so much content. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen get the idea. These and many more garner huge profits for just taking up space...the lecture circuit syndrome. Sure there are many library and university lectures...and they are great. I was thinking of the first lecture of merit that I attended. It was given by astronomer Harlow Shapley at Rockhurst University back in the late 60s and shortly before he passed away. It was a simple gathering of about 30 people and it was free. There was even plenty of time to ask questions...standing near a huge, stainless steel coffee urn. Brian Green was here a few years ago...not free and the "question and answer" period was short and highly orchestrated. Froze my butt heading back to my truck some three blocks away and felt like I had been better off playing monster under the blanket with Bruno. Some of the most memorable events happened at libraries and universities. One of the best ones in this city is Linda Hall Library. Relevant topics by not so famous people. If you can afford it and feel the need to witness the famous, then go for the biggies...otherwise, watch for the minor events.

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