The discussion was steered by the audience’s questions, comments, and experiences. Panelists shared that the oceans have always been a model for science fiction movies about space since very little of it has been explored yet. Extraterrestrial life might not just be carbon-based, scientists are looking at silicon-based life. And reproduction might not be needed to define life, since nerds don’t reproduce yet are considered to be alive (haha).
The audience explored questions like: How true to science should science fiction movies be? In a society that isn’t science-literate, should science fiction movies be a method in which people learn about science? Or would that limit the possibilities? Most audience members agree that science fiction movies should at least be true to the methodology of science, so that one scientist isn’t the chemist, biologist, and physicist all rolled in one. But film experts shared the reality of filmmaking. It turns out real science isn’t as entertaining as science fiction science.
Even though many of the large questions about the role of science fiction in our society were left unanswered, everyone agrees science fiction is a gateway to imagination, which is very much needed in science. The two will always be entwined.
If you weren’t able to make it out to this event and want to find out what was discussed, check out the storified twitter-convo. The tweets during this event were hilarious and educational all at the same time!
If you’d like more information on Nerd Nite Miami, follow them on Twitter @NerdNiteMiami or on Facebook at Nerd Nite Miami.
If you’d like more information on the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival January 23-25, 2015, follow them on Twitter @MiamiSciFi, on Facebook at Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival, or their website www.MiSciFi.com.
For more science café events, follow COSEE Florida on Twitter @COSEEFlorida, on Instagram @COSEEFlorida, or on Facebook at COSEE Florida. Or search #COSEEMIA on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for events in Miami.
Stay tuned for details on the next COSEE Florida #COSEEMIA science café coming February 2015!
COSEE Florida, Nerd Nite Miami, and the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival came together to bring the nerd to another level. We had an amazing panel of experts to spark conversation, debunk misconceptions, and answer audience questions about the real science behind science fiction.
The panelists included: Dean Lyon a visual effects expert that is known for his work on The Lord of the Rings, Armageddon, Independence Day, and many other great science fiction movies. Eric Swain a hydrologist for the United States Geologic Survey, a science fiction writer/producer/director, and one of the founding members of the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival. Matthew Hogan a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University doing research on quantum gravity and cosmology. And Nathan Laxague a graduate student at University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences doing research on the physics of air-sea interactions, and a co-boss of Nerd Nite Miami.
What do a hydroponics farmer, an aquaculturist, and two scientists growing algae for food and biofuel have in common? They’re all working towards sustainability, and they all shared their stories, processes, and answered questions during ‘Farm to Fork’, COSEE Florida’s Water as Habitat Science Café. The event took place at Osceola Bistro in downtown Vero Beach on the gorgeous outdoor patio. Experts presented to a great community turnout, all coming together for an engaging discussion on local and sustainable eating.
The evening began with a fabulous spread of local food complimentary to attendees, prepared by Chef Chris Bireley of Osceola Bistro. Florida Organic Aquaculture donated shrimp for the event, which was served alongside dishes featuring local veggies, oysters, and lionfish. Bireley’s passion for fresh, local food as well as for the community was very apparent during his welcome. He strives to purchase as many fresh ingredients from local farmers and fisherman as possible, making it the perfect venue for this science café.
The panel included Lisa Brenneman of Florida Veggies & More, Jose Manzo, Project Manager at Florida Organic Aquaculture, FIT Vero Beach Marine Laboratory’s Nancy Pham, and Steve Schlosser, CEO of Florida Algae. Brenneman kicked off the conversation by talking about hydroponics and its benefits, as well as how Florida Veggies & More helps people set up their own hydroponic systems at home. Manzo spoke about the zero-exchange aquaculture processes used at Florida Organic Aquaculture to raise shrimp. Pham discussed the benefits of using algae as a biofuel, Shlosser spoke of the potential of Spirulina algae as a protein source, and Spirulina smoothie samples were passed around for guests to enjoy.
After the tasty food, passionate speakers, and a great discussion, many community members were pleasantly surprised with the variety of sustainable agriculture happening locally. If you’d like to learn more about these organizations, please visit their websites:
Florida Veggies & More sells Vero Beach-grown, fresh fruits and veggies and sets up personal hydroponics gardens. www.flveggies.com
Florida Organic Aquaculture sells Pacific white shrimp grown through zero-exchange aquaculture in Vero Beach; www.flaquaculture.com
Florida Algae LLC produces fresh, frozen Spirulina algae products grown in FIT’s Vero Beach Marine Lab. www.floridaalgae.com/
Osceola Bistro serves fresh, local food in downtown Vero Beach. www.osceolabistro.com
For more science café events in Florida, follow COSEE on Twitter @COSEEFlorida, on Facebook at COSEE Florida or Instagram @coseeflorida.