"The Universe does not bend itself to our ignorance." This simple truism is just one of the many observations made by author, skeptic and former president of the National Center for Science Education Robert J. Schadewald, who died of cancer on March 12th, 2000.This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with his sister Lois Schadewald, who compiled and published a humorous, insightful volume of her brother's articles, essays and interviews in 2008.Entitled Worlds of Their Own: A Brief History of Misguided Ideas; Creationism, Flat-Earthism, Energy Scams, and the Velikovsky Affair, Robert Schadewald's work reminds us that in order to understand the difference between science and pseudoscience we must investigate the unique claims and personalities of some of history's most unorthodox thinkers. Only then can we begin to learn what leads some people to embrace critical thinking and science — and others cling to their own realities despite all the evidence in the universe….
Date -January 1st, 2010 read by Derek.
We've been fortunate to meet lots of our Skeptical heroes at conferences like:
The Amazing Meeting, Skepticamp, Skeptrack Dragon*Con and Charlotte Pop Fest.
Many of our greatest inspirations come from the work of skeptics no longer with us.
Just some of those names:
Carl Sagan, Robert A. Baker, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Rabbi Sherwin Wine, Jeff Medkeff and Robert J. Schadewald.
An exceptional critical thinker, author and science enthusiast Bob passed away in 2000.
Robert Schadewald was inspired by the work of Martin Gardner at a young age.
Bob became an expert on perpetual motion machines, and the theories of Velikovsky.
Immanuel Velikovsky believed the earth had survived collisions with other planets.
Robert Schadewald served on the board of the NCSE for six years.
He was president of the National Center for Science Education for two of those years.
Schadewald's contemporaries at the NSCE remember him fondly.
Worlds of Their Own was edited and compiled by Bob's sister Lois Schadewald.
Lois is a professor of Chemistry at Normandale Community College in Minnesota.
Lois is also a member of the Minnesota atheists and has attended nearly all the TAMs.
Bob was considered the foremost expert on Flat Earthers.
He was even a member of the Flat Earth Society while still critical of flat earth theories.
The Robert Schadewald collection is housed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
You can find out more about the collection at the Universities Collections website.
World's of Their Own: A Brief History of Misguided Ideas: Creationism, Flat-Earthism, Energy Scams and the Velikovsky Affair is published by Ex-Libris.
You can find out more about World's of Their Own at the website.
You can also become a fan on Facebook.
Lois Schadewald is also on Facebook, and will be at The Amazing Meeting 8, 2010.