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Paper: “Who Speaks for Earth?” A Theme for ASTR 101
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 157
Authors: Williamson, K.; Rodrigues, E.
Abstract: In his book and televisions series “Cosmos,” Carl Sagan posed the question, “Who Speaks for Earth?” in the context of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear self-destruction. Today, we still grapple with this question as we also engage with climate change, issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and search for life beyond Earth. While many of us who are astronomy educators already bring these topics into our teaching, this talk will explore how the question of “Who Speaks for Earth” can be used as an overarching theme throughout an ASTR 101 course to help guide students in building their identities as “Earthlings” and chart a vision for the future. Interventions piloted during Spring and Fall 2021 semesters include daily scientist highlights, historical anecdotes, statistics from various reports, homework assignments, guest speakers, and targeted training. Student responses to assessments on these interventions, as well as materials for adapting in your own course, will be shared.
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