Scientific literacy is an intellectual vaccine against the claims of charlatans who would exploit ignorance.
If there's some kind of rock star status, would I be irresponsible if I didn't somehow use it for a continued greater good? I'm always involved in some way with reaching the public.
On some issues, I'm a staunch Conservative -- like curtailing greenhouse gas emissions so that we can Conserve the environment.
I'm not as famous as Stephen Hawking, but certainly in the U.S., I have a very high profile for a scientist. It is an awesome responsibility, one that I don't shoulder lightly.
Today secular philosophers call that kind of divine invocation God of the gaps-which comes in handy, because there has never been a shortage of gaps in people's knowledge.
As a child, I was aware that, at night, infrared vision would reveal monsters hiding in the bedroom closet only if they were warm-blooded. But everybody knows that your average bedroom monster is reptilian and cold-blooded.
My only hope is that every other alien civilization isn't doing exactly what we are doing because then everybody would be listening, nobody would be receiving, and we would collectively conclude that there is no other intelligent life in the universe.
Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life.
If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.
For me, the most fascinating interface is Twitter. I have odd cosmic thoughts every day and I realized I could hold them to myself or share them with people who might be interested.
For decades, we've been trying to cook up the building blocks of life, in the lab, and recreate the origins of it all, but the parts didn't seem to fit together, until now.
If there's something that someone else can do, let them do it. If I couldn't do it uniquely, let someone else do it and I would get back to the lab.
I don't want to make a member of Congress do something that that member of Congress's constituents would not approve of, or would not agree to. So in that regard, I'm kind of the opposite of a lobbyist.
No one is saying you're possessed by the devil anymore except the most ignorant of people in modern culture.
As the plow pushes through a parking lot of light fluffy snow, the snow clumps together in bigger and bigger chunks. Out in space, pressure hitting a gas cloud has a similar effect, except, instead of snowballs, you get stars!
Modern science is under no obligation to satisfy the expectations of your five senses.
The tenacity of life is mind-boggling. We keep finding it where no one thought it could be.
My goal is not to shove information into your head. It's to find ways to reignite the curiosity that we all had as children for the natural world. You don't have to tell a child to explore the backyard.
A state of negative energy means that you are essentially getting something for nothing.
I'd like to live in a world where people embrace objective truths rather than be offended by them.
I'm an educator, and I'm a scientist, and I speak what is objectively true. And if that offends you, I can try to have a conversation with you to ask why it offends you, and tell you why objective truth should not offend you because that's how the world works.
I don't want to go into space because of war. I think we would if it was triggered. If China said they want to put military bases on Mars, we'd be at Mars in two years. That would be quick. I don't want that to be the reason.
Right now people think God is dark energy and dark matter, the spirit. Go ahead and think that, but the day we can tell you exactly what it is -- that it's gremlins in the vacuum of space or whatever -- then what's your recourse at that point?
Quantum physics fluctuates all the time. But now the fluctuations are not just particles coming into and out of existence, which happens all the time. It's whole universes coming into and out of existence.
But you will hardly ever read about them. Why? Because once again, the media has predetermined what is not worthy of coverage, even when the news item is something as uninteresting as the cosmic origin of every element in your body.
Our history, in the cosmos and on planet Earth, was shaped by countless events, some obviously epic, some seemingly trivial, yet all vital in getting us to this point, here and now, the people we are today.
When a coincidence seems amazing, that's because the human mind isn't wired to naturally comprehend probability and statistics.
The most successful scientists in the history of the world are those who posed the right questions.
You innovate in ways that stoke your economy. Because innovations in science and technology are the engines of 21st century economies.
I simply go with what works. And what works is the healthy skepticism embodied in the scientific method. Believe me, if the Bible had ever been shown to be a rich source of scientific answers and enlightenment, we would be mining it daily for cosmic discovery.
We hunger for significance, for signs that our personal existence is of special meaning to the universe. To that end, we're all too eager to deceive ourselves and others, to discern a sacred image in a grilled cheese sandwich or find a divine warning in a comet.
Down there between our legs, it's like an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system. Who designed that?
Ever since there have been people, there have been explorers, looking in places where other hadn't been before. Not everyone does it, but we are part of a species where some members of the species do, to the benefit of us all.
Enjoying science shouldn't be rocket science.
I agree that we should go back to the moon and on to Mars. We should treat all objects in the solar system, including comets and asteroids, as exploration targets.
But one of the coolest things about meteorites is that most were formed four-and-a-half-billion years ago, during the birth of our solar system, when, for reasons not yet known, a cloud of gas and dust was transformed into a sun with circling planets.
Luckily, there are some rocks left over from our earliest days, asteroids formed during our solar system's birth. Occasionally, some of them drop in on Earth, and when they do, they're called meteorites.
It's short-sighted to think ads won't one day end up wherever humans are -- even the moon.
We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.
To get an Emmy nomination for a show that was the first-ever science talk show on television to us was an affirmation that there is an appetite for this content in the mainstream public, not just the erudite public. So we're all completely thrilled by it.
What scientists want next is a thorough comparison of what we and exosolar planets and vagabonds look like. Only in this way will we know whether our home life is normal or whether we live in a dysfunctional solar family.
Deep in the world of atomic nuclei, life is not always tranquil.
When your reasons for believing something are justified ad hoc, you are left susceptible to further discoveries undermining the rationale for that belief.
Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature, will not be fooled.
Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure.
I think if everyone had the luxury to pursue a life of exactly what they love, we would all be ranked as visionaries and brilliant.
To learn more about science, turn off your electronic device and go outside and look around a bit. Nature is calling you. Go on. The internet will still be here.
Emotional truths woven by lawyers in the court of law are apparently more important than the truths of actual events. I have grown to fear for those whose innocence became trapped within the legal system.
I'm fascinated by the deaths of stars and the havoc they wreak on their environments.
And extracting one molecule's signature in spectral analysis from the rest of the signatures is hard work, sort of like picking out the sound of your toddler's voice in a roomful of screaming children during playtime. It's hard, but you can do it.
If Pizza sizes were given in area not diameter, you'd see instantly that a 7 inch is less than half the size of a 10 inch pie.
On Venus you could cook a 16-inch pepperoni pizza in seven seconds, just by holding it out to the air. (Yes, I did the math.).
Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA).
He invited people to sign a petition that demanded either strict control of, or a total ban on, dihydrogen monoxide.... Yes, 86 percent of the passersby voted to ban water (H2O) from the environment. Maybe that's what really happened to all the water on Mars.
Why can't Pluto be a planet? Some people like Pluto. And if it doesn't exist then they don't have a favorite planet. Right? Please write back but not in cursive because I can't read cursive.
I bet most of the crowd does not know that there are six moons in the solar system bigger than Pluto.
When I shop for fruit and melons I like to hold a grape next to a cantaloupe and think of Earth next to Jupiter. Then I eat Earth.
If Neptune were analogized with a Chevy Impala in mass, then how big is pluto compared to that? Pluto would be a matchbox car sitting on the curb.
Science literacy is a vaccine against the charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance.
Claiming there is no other life in the universe is like scooping up some water, looking at the cup and claiming there are no whales in the ocean.
Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. You cannot build a program of discovery on the assumption that nobody is smart enough to figure out the answer to a problem.
If something comes up that is completely freaky, it's spiritual-looking to the scientist, the first explanation is not going to be that it's God, because the history of that has failed. It would have to be, like, the hundredth explanation.
Santa knows Physics: Of all colors, Red Light penetrates fog best. That's why Benny the Blue-nosed reindeer never got the gig.
The people talking on their cell phone and following GPS instructions to where grandma's house is saying I don't need space -- excuse me, that's how you know where grandma lives, and when to make the left turn.