Astronomy Workshop for SF Writers and Editors

Introducing for 2012: a free, one-day workshop designed for writers and editors of science fiction, focusing on astronomy, physics, and other space sciences. Saturday, 10AM-1PM & 2PM-6PM.

The workshop will be directed by astronomy professor and hard science fiction novelist Mike Brotherton, founder of the Launchpad Astronomy Workshop for Writers held each summer in Laramie, Wyoming. Joining Mike are internationally recognized astronomy education researchers Tim and Stephanie Slater, and planetary astronomy Kevin R. Grazier, who is a science consultant for TV and movies (Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, the upcoming movie Gravity, and many others).

The aim of this workshop is to provide participants with an introduction, or an update, to modern astronomy and related fields as practiced in the 21st Century, to encourage them to include more and more accurate astronomy in their writing, and to learn how to improve their presentation of scientific concepts to the public. Special attention will be given to common misconceptions, jargon, and techniques for communicating science that make science less accessible. Examples from popular movies and books, good and bad, will be used for illustration.

Among subjects to be included will be:

  • Fundamentals: light, gravity, size scales, cycles in the sky
  • Planets: solar system and extrasolar
  • Stars: properties and evolution
  • Galaxies and cosmology
  • Issues common to “science fiction science”: artificial gravity, relativity, the space environment, etc.

Limited to 30 participants. Registration is required as seating is limited. Participants will need to bring pen and paper, laptop, or voice recorder for taking notes. No video recording permitted. (If you bring an electronic device that will require charging or AC power, you will need to also bring an extension cord.)

For more information or to book this workshop, please contact the Dragon*Con Office (770) 909-0115 during office hours, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm EST.

For further questions, please email (Mike Brotherton) mbrother (at) uwyo (dot) edu.

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