I finally made it to one of the Science Pub lectures last night! Wow, it was a packed house; apparently they had gotten some recent publicity from OPB and the Oregonian, which led to a standing-room-only crowd. Thankfully, I arrived early enough to snag an empty seat at the bar where I could drink cider and fold dollar bills into plumerias and sea turtles until the lecture began.
A side note: Why does every bar in the area look at me funny when I order a hard apple cider? Hellew, WA State is just across the river, home to most excellent apples! You would think hard cider should be a regular drink in these parts, but instead I seem to be the only one quaffing. What’s up with that?
I was amused at the preamble of announcements before the lecture began. It included a brief sequence like, “blah, blah, blah… and if you’re interested in tonight’s topic, you might want to visit our website and check out our podcast, which includes a Q&A on the same subject. Looking forward in our calendar, the next Science Pub is Monday, February 26 and the topic is, “Will the iPod generation soon be deaf?”” I tell ya, it’s hard to be a satirist in today’s world.
The lecture last night was on stem cell research. The speaker was both a professor of biology as well as a lawyer, and so had some fascinating insights to offer. Most of the info was fairly introductory; on the science front all I picked up was some more precise definitions and terms, but the basic principles I already got. Of all things, what really interested me was a deeper discussion about the various objections to this research. Which is not to say I agree with those objections, but at least I understand them a little better.
And as always, I came away with an even greater awareness for the messed up contradictions in our own government policies. Sigh.
Still, it was a good time! I’ll definitely be trying to make the next one.