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Best Of Blue Dot: What Is This Thing Called Science Anyway?

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Dave visits with James Zimring, author of the new book What Science is and How it Really Works. In a wide-ranging conversation that covers everything from the methodology of science, news flash, there really isn't a "Scientific Method" like the version you saw in your high school biology textbook, to some of the most important social issues of our day like the anti-vaccination movement and climate change science denial.

Understanding the logical and philosophical underpinnings of science is the key to making rational decisions in an increasingly complex and endangered world. As Carl Sagan so eloquently put it:

"Science works. It is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything. It has two rules. First: there are no sacred truths; all assumptions must be critically examined; arguments from authority are

worthless. Second: whatever is inconsistent with the facts must be discarded or revised."

In the spirit of Sagan, Dave and Jim Zimring take us all on a mindful journey through the way of thinking we call science.

Dave Schlom has taught the physical sciences at Corning Union High School since 1991. A lifelong amateur astronomer and astronomy educator, he has a passion for both the earth and the space sciences, which are the principal areas of focus for guests on Blue Dot. He started doing radio interviews on space and astronomy topics for local stations like KFM and KPAY in the 1980s and into the 90s, where he was a popular go-to guest for local radio personalities. He is also an expert on the history and geology of Lassen Volcanic National Park, where he has served as a volunteer for decades. Dave enjoys a quiet life at home with his partner in life, Cheryl, and their two dogs, Elvis and Pearl, at their Red Bluff residence.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.