19 December 2006

This week's Little Atoms

The 20th December 2006 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of the astronomer, astrobiologist and populariser of science Carl Sagan. This program will explore aspects of the life, work and influence of Sagan, and includes a number of short interviews with Sagan's family, friends and former colleagues.

Contributors include Ann Druyan, Founder of the Carl Sagan Foundation and wife of Carl's for nearly 20 years until his death. Louis Friedman, co-founder with Sagan and current Executive Director of The Planetary Society, Steven Soter, Research Associate, Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and collaborator with Sagan on the Emmy award winning television series 'Cosmos: A Personal Journey', Carolyn Porco, Senior Research Scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, member of the Imaging team on the Voyager missions, and leader of the Cassini-Huygens imaging team, and A.C. Grayling, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, Rationalist, skeptic and Little Atoms favorite.


Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon

Blogger Joel Schlosberg has instigated a Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon for wednesday 20th December 2006, which is the tenth anniversary of Carl Sagan's death.

In Joel's words;

"If you're a Sagan fan with a blog, you can participate by posting something related to him on or near that date. Read or reread a Sagan book and review it; discuss cool things that you've done that's been influenced by him; pontificate on one of the many topics he treated (SETI, astronomy, critical thinking, the history of science, human intelligence....), or post about something completely surprising".

read more here

Also, see what Nick Sagan has to say about it here

And here's another Carl Sagan blog.


16 December 2006

Is there anybody there???

I've stumbled upon SETI@home, which allows you to help in the search for extra-terrestrial radio signals from the comfort of your own computer. It uses a great little program from Berkeley University called BOINC, which allows unused disc-space on your computer to be incorporated into a network based worldwide supercomputer. Now, while i'm idling away on Harry's Place my computer is analysing data from the Arecibo radio telescope (The one Sean Bean fell off in Goldeneye). It apparently only requires your computer to be on for two hours a week to be useful, and I can't imagine that would be a problem to anyone reading this!

SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak is our guest on Little Atoms on 5th January 2007. He also has a radio show, Are We Alone? which is highly recommended.


07 December 2006

This week's Little Atoms

You may have noticed that Little Atoms describes itself as being of the "The Left", so it's a great contrarian pleasure to announce our first Member of Parliament guest, Michael Gove, (Conservative) MP for Surrey Heath and Shadow Minister for Housing.

Michael Gove is one of Britain's leading writers and thinkers on terrorism and foreign affairs. He has lectured in Britain and Europe on the root causes of terrorism. He was founding chairman of Policy Exchange, and a founder member of the Henry Jackson Society. He writes a regular column for The Times and is a frequent panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze and Newsnight Review. In 2006 he won the Rising Star Award at the Channel 4 Political Awards. He is Conservative MP for Surrey Heath. Michael's latest book is "Celsius 7/7", which discusses how the West's policy of appeasing Islamism has helped to provoke more Fundamentalist terror.