Taryn here! It’s an overdue edition of Scirens’ Selects but what better time to share some inspiring science articles than the week leading up to Earth Day!

I don’t have to tell you how important Earth Day is, right? How crucial it is for everyone to be aware of the man-made climate issues plaguing our planet? How critical it is for scientists and citizen scientists to both champion science literacy (so that the population can elect intelligent officials who will draft and pass good policy) and innovation (so that we can break free from the fossil fuel industry). Or maybe… you just need a reminder.  Well, this list of articles will take you from the importance of science literacy and critical thinking, to cutting edge breakthrough technologies, to inspiring individuals breaking from the pack and innovating at a corporate and city level, to information on this weekend’s March for Science!

And don’t forget that BILL NYE SAVES THE WORLD premieres THIS FRIDAY April 21 on Netflix. Yours truly has a little guest spot on the climate change episode (how serendipitous!) along with some amazing experts and science passionate celebrities.  Many thanks to my scientist pals Teagan Wall and Bad Astronomer Phil Plait for suggesting me as a guest.

Let’s get started:

Science in America with Neil deGrasse Tyson, produced by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason of Redglass Pictures: How I missed a big ol’ Neil being passionate about science vid! Check out this powerful new piece on the importance of science literacy, the power of science in our country’s history and our responsibility to champion its truths today. This is a rallying cry for Science in ’17 if there ever was one.


America Needs a Crash Course in Critical Thinking. By Tom Jacobs. Pacific Standard Magazine. April 2017. We’re not just talking science here… with the proliferation of ‘fake news’ across the internet and the ease of tweeting a non truth, the author explores new research on the importance of teaching critical thinking — it’s not as common sense as you would think.

Can We Slow Global Warming And Still Grow? By J.B. MacKinnon. The New Yorker. March 27 2017. It is frustrating how many political figures perpetuate the story that the health of the US economy will be devastated by environmental regulation. As Neil pointed out in the above video, the US rocketed to it’s position of GDP greatness due to innovation. And that’s what we need to encourage again. Economic growth and carbon regulation is not a zero sum game, and this article is a measured look at the topic.

The Solutions Project. I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel on the future of energy with Mark Jacobson, co-founder of The Solutions Project (actor Mark Ruffalo is on the board). He and his team have created a comprehensive state by state plan on how each region can transition to renewable energy. It’s doable people! Check it out!

10 Breakthrough Technologies. By various authors. MIT Technology Review. April 2017. Each of these breakthrough technologies is a mind boggling, important read (the future is coming fast!) but the relevant one to our topic today is ‘Hot Solar Cells’ — new technology allowing more of the sun’s energy to be absorbed and converting it back to energy, even when the sun has set.

Inside Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s Ambitious Plans to Create The Post-Car City. By Adele Peters. Fast Company April 4, 2017. The location of 2015’s momentous Paris Climate Summit (and subsequent Agreement) yields a forward thinking, ambitious mayor who tackles climate change at a city level. She’s already cut the number of cars in half, closed roads to cars, introduced electric trams and says things like this:

“Unparalleled challenges like air pollution require unprecedented action… These policies are based on the urgency of both the health crisis and the climate crisis we are facing.”

She’s also aligned with 21 other cig city mayors like Michael Bloomberg. The City of Lights is becoming the center of enlightenment once more.

March for Science LA, April 22nd 2017! Here’s your link to the LA arm of the nationwide March for Science event on Earth Day. It’s this Saturday in Pershing Square, Downtown LA at 9am. Many of our science friends are speaking including Sean Carroll, Cara Santa Maria and Kyle Hill.

The main partner for the event is NextGen Climate America — a climate action and renewables non profit started by Billionaire former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. Think someone can’t leave fossil fuels’ deep pockets and fight for the planet? He did — and this Wired article on him is fantastic.

And that’s it from this corner of the spacetime continuum. Hope you are inspired and invigorated to do your part in supporting climate change initiatives at your community level — and not just on Earth Day, but every day. Would love to hear your thoughts and comments below and on twitter — I’m @tarynoneill and we’re @scirens. Stay curious!


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