The Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival tents have all been folded and hauled away. There have already been four nights of non-stop science cafes at local watering holes. But, there are still six more days of the festival to go, and Penn Medicine faculty will be participating at events on most of those days.
Tonight, Tuesday, April 24, come hear about the The Great Vaccine Debate, 6:30 p.m., The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For more than two centuries, vaccines have protected us against many of humankind’s deadliest diseases, prevented global epidemics, and saved countless lives. Yet, in recent years a debate has sprung up on the safety of vaccination, causing some parents to forgo vaccinating their children. This has led to the return of some diseases, such as whooping cough and measles, as we begin to lose our “herd” immunity. Hear the real scoop from a panel of vaccine scientists, medical ethicists, and Mark Largent, PhD, author of Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America. Jason Schwartz, associate fellow at the Penn Center for Bioethics, is a panelist.
Sometimes the world needs a superhero. On Wednesday, April 25, attend Science Super Heroes, 7:00 p.m., Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street, to meet a few Penn, Philadelphia University, and Temple scientists who are doing great things, from repairing oil spill damage to curing once-fatal diseases. Doug Smith, MD, director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair, is a panelist.
After you’ve found all the clues, stop by Science Night at Citizen’s Bank Park, before and during the first 3 innings of the 7:05 p.m. Phillies game. Cheer for the Phils as they take on the Chicago Cubs, all while learning about the science of sports. Visit one of a dozen activities throughout the stadium. The Center for Brain Injury and Repair will be there explaining ways to prevent head injuries.
Discover science in your own back yard at Science Discovery Day in Clark Park, 11 p.m., Sunday, April 29, between 43rd and 45th Streets and Chester and Woodland Avenues. Meet local scientists and science students as they uncover the wonders around Clark Park. Dig into an archeological excavation in Woodland Cemetery; pick up the physics of basketball; and check out the science behind why you should wear a helmet when riding your bike. Science will come to life in West Philadelphia with more than 20 interactive, hands-on activities, including groups from Penn Medicine.
Then kick back and relax at the science café Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science-Obsessed and Medical Tattooing, 2 p.m., Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave. This is the event for anyone who has ever thought of having an image of the double helix imprinted somewhere on their body. Author Carl Zimmer and body artist Mandy Sauler, micropigmentation specialist with Penn Medicine Center for Human Appearance, will discuss Zimmer’s book, Science Ink, which looks at the devoted men and women of the scientific world who have commemorated their research with body art. They’ll also cover the use of tattoos in modern medicine and cosmetics.