Lisa Roberts blog


Protected: How useful is art divorced from science?

Filed under: Presentations — Lisa @ 15:07

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Acidification demonstration

Filed under: Climate-Change-Communication, Presentations, Science — Lisa @ 07:57

In today’s Scuttlebutt newsletter I read:

Event Description

Guest lecturer Dr. Richard Feely will discuss the present and future implications of increased temperature and CO2 levels as they relate to the health of our West Coast ocean ecosystems. He will also conduct a live demonstration of ocean acidification.

Dr. Feely is a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.
He also holds an affiliate full professor faculty position at the
University of Washington’s School of Oceanography. His major research
areas are carbon cycling in the ocean and ocean acidification processes.
He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of St.
Thomas, in St Paul, Minnesota in 1969. He then went on to Texas A&M
University where he received both a master’s of science degree in 1971
and a Ph.D. in 1974. Both of his post-graduate degrees were in chemical

He is the co-chair of the U.S. CLIVAR (Climate Variability and
Prediction)/CO2 Repeat Hydrography Program. He is also a member of the
steering committee for the U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biochemistry Program. He
is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Feely has authored more than 200 refereed research publications. He
was awarded the Department of Commerce Gold Award in 2006 for his
pioneering research on ocean acidification. In 2007 he was elected to be a
Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
For more information, please visit our website or call (562) 590-3100,
ext. 0.


$5 for public; FREE for Aquarium members, seniors (age 62+), teachers, and
students with valid ID and advanced reservations


Wednesday, May. 25 (7pm—8:30pm)


Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way

(562) 951-1663

LIMELIGHT Long Beach Events Calendar, more information.

Method of performing in situ calibrated potentiometric pH measurements

Posted: 23 May 2011 12:37 AM PDT

A device for the precise and accurate potentiometric pH measurements in
situ. Embodiments of a potentiometric device according to the invention
consist of one or more glass pH-sensitive electrodes connected to a
potentiometer. A key feature of the device is that, rather than being
calibrated conventionally with buffers, it can be calibrated with an in
situ device that measures pH spectrophotometrically. Spectrophotometric pH
measurements obtained via sulfonephthalein absorbance measurements are
inherently calibrated (do not require buffers). Thus, devices according to
the invention allow for continuous potentiometric pH measurements with
occasional spectrophotometric calibrations. The spectrophotometric
calibration device consists of a spectrophotometer with associated pumps
for combining a sulfonephthalein pH indicator with the aqueous medium whose
pH is to be measured. The device will record potentiometric pH measurements
for an extended period of time until the spectrophotometric device is
autonomously activated for another calibration. In this manner precise and
accurate pH measurements can be obtained continuously in the environment,
and the low energy expenditure of the potentiometric device provides
excellent endurance. Also provided is a method and associated devices for
spectrophotometrically determining the salinity of an aqueous medium.

Inventors: Byrne, Robert H. (St. Petersburg, FL, US)

Application Number: 12/180021

Publication Date: 05/17/2011, 17 May 2011. More information.


Bioengineering our brains

Filed under: Human rights, Iconography, Presentations, Science — Lisa @ 14:17

Ted Talk: American Journal of Bioethics, Neuroscience Editor, Paul Root Wolpe, says it’s time to question the bioengineering of animals, our brains and more.

I found this presentation frustratingly manipulating, but am pleased that I saw it. It brought my attention to the reality of genetic engineering. As I watched I found myself asking how genetic engineering works, but my desire for this knowledge battled with my own Nnormalcy Bias*, triggered by the continuous stream of cute animals. I wanted a more objective, balanced point of view. I wanted to see positive examples (if there are any) of positive of genetic engineering.

In order to make ethical decisions about how to regulate our behaviour, ways need to be found to communicate accurate information that do not trigger the Normalcy Bias. We face the same challenge when communicating climate change information. Because we each participate in shaping ourselves and our environment, it makes sense that we work together to decide what is good and what is bad.

*Wikipedia explains that:
The normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of the government to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred that it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.[1]


Aesthetic vs anaesthetic

Filed under: Human rights, Presentations, Researchers, animation, drawing, writing — Lisa @ 10:38

I first saw this video on the Facebook of an artist friend.

As the U-tube caption reads,

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.

For more information on Sir Ken’s work visit:

This is the most lucid explanation I have seen of the divide between academic and artistic intelligences that is promoted by the dominant education systems around the world. I agree with Howard Gardner that we each have multiple intelligences that we can apply to every problem. My hunch is that we naturally apply all our intelligences to everything that we perceive as a problem, consciously and unconsciously.


Prism display: Sea levels are rising

Filed under: Antarctic Garden, Presentations — Lisa @ 21:05

The prism that I bought at a garage sale continues life as an exhibition space in the front garden of our house in Newtown, Sydney. Sea levels are rising, with diatoms (engraved fluorescent Perspex plates bound with steel screws) is the current exhibit. Climate change data from the CSIRO is combined with drawings of diatoms that are made to resemble human forms. See animated data of sea levels rising.

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