Sunday, December 04, 2016

Interdisciplinary Presentation: Imaginary Voyages: The Poet as Spaceman

In the June 2016 issue of Odyssey, the official newsletter of OASIS: The Los Angeles Chapter of the National Space Society, their cover story was "Science Meets Art in Imaginary Voyages: The Poet as Spaceman." 

It discussed the the May 14th presentation of Harley Cortez who "merged science with art to convey to the greater population why space matters, in a first-of-its-kind STEAM event in downtown Los Angeles. OASIS, together with the Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics and Next Generation Science Standards co-sponsored the event." The gathering coincided with National Astronomy Day.

The evening included discussions with physicist/entrepreneur Dennis Wonica, Aerospace Corporation Project Leader Nahum Melamed, NASA/JPL-certified STEAM educator Andrea Diamond, and Raytheon Principal Engineering Fellow Jeffrey Puschell. .

Presentations were then given on topics such as Planetary Defense for Asteroids and Comets and Earth Observations from Space: Artistry in Concert with Saving Lives and Extending the Frontiers of Science.

The newsletter summed up the gathering stating "Over the course of the evening, artists and scientists found that they had more in common than previously realized. All came to appreciate that science has aesthetic as well as intellectual beauty. The evening was lively, social, and openly accepting, creating electricity by merging two amazing communities together into a microcosm of, as Master of Ceremonies Garcia put it, a "progressive space culture."

These sorts of gatherings might be something that my fellow members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association might want to consider attending or coordinating with other chapters across the country in the years ahead. 

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