4 January 2021
Happy New Year to all!
Two weeks ago many a telescope was pointed towards Jupiter and Saturn for their Great Conjunction. Some 411 years ago this January 7 Galileo pointed at Jupiter a 20x telescope built by his own hand. Through it he saw for the first time three points of light that later he realized were moons of the Jovian planet.
This discovery helped Galileo place his name among the pantheon, but it was the telescope that helped him make his livelihood. A device that enables astronomers to see farther also lets seafarers to see sooner which (and perhaps whose) ships are rising on the horizon. The manufacture of such a tool drew for Galileo princely sums in an era when leaders knew the value of a few extra minutes of early warning when pirates plied the waters.
Thus in 1610, and not for the first time, a scientific innovation became the basis for an improved sentinel system. But as we learned in 2020, and as we were forewarned in 2017, sentinels require not only technology but also the will to sustain them—and the money, the people, the relationships, the expertise, the commitment.
As we move happily into 2021, events with new strains of covid and with new strains on the covid vaccination system remind us that science isn’t about omniscience, but it can be about prescience, the ability to anticipate, to project ahead, to foresee what might be. The foresights of science and the insights of technologies will still require the will and the commitment, but like planets in the telescope, those appear to be drawing closer and closer in the coming days.
- Conversation with Tricia Nicoll, Volunteer Services Coordinator; and Julie Auenson, Child Life Manager, American Family Children’s Hospital
- Science Expeditions Campus-wide Open House April 9-11:
- Online Events
- Outdoor Activities on Campus & Other UW-Madison Sites
- Possible Indoor Sites
- Communications & Promotions
- Engineering Expo update
- Other announcements or topics
- Badger Talks Live: – https://www.facebook.com/UWConnects/live & https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/ On hiatus until January 26 at noon CST.
- Winter Wonderland: Night Hike with Outdoor UW. Tuesday January 5, 5:00-6:00pm. Meet outside Outdoor UW at Memorial Union just before 5:00 pm to set off to the west.
- Science on Tap—Minocqua: Wednesday January 6 at 6:30 pm by Zoom. “The Other End of the Leash: Dog Behavior” by Trish McConnell.
- “Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” public science seminar, by Zoom. Wednesdays at 7 pm CT. Every Wednesday night, 50 times a year. Register at go.wisc.edu/240r59. WN@TL resumes on January 6 with Prof Kerri Coon of Bacteriology on “Why Mosquitoes Love You (and Other Things You Never Knew About Mosquitoes and Their Microbiome)“
- The UW Now Livestream. Tuesday January 5 at 7pm CST. Speaker TBD as of 9:00pm Jan 3.
- Virtual Saturday Science Workshop with UW Space Place. Most Saturdays at 10:00am. Check at http://www.spaceplace.wisc.edu/#satworkshops.
- Check for other events presented online and available to all at http://today.wisc.edu/events/tag/science
4. Upcoming Lineup for Wednesday Nite @ The Lab online by zoom starting at 7pm Central. Register at https://go.wisc.edu/240r59
Schedule and descriptions at https://science.wisc.edu/wednesday-nite-at-the-lab/