Death from the Skies! With “Bad Astronomer” Dr. Phil Plait

“The Universe is trying to kill you. It’s nothing personal. It’s trying to kill everybody.” So begins the book Death From the Skies!, the subject of a very special Science Pub being held at the Bagdad Theater on Wednesday, August 1, featuring Dr. Phil Plait, a.k.a. the “Bad Astronomer”. Plait is well known for his books, his blog, and his TV show Bad Universe that was featured on the Discovery Channel. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of making science education fun, which is what OMSI and Science Pub is all about!

We got the chance to ask Dr. Plait about some of the most common questions, usually revolving around astronomical doomsday scenarios, that he receives from fans.

“Asteroids have seen in the news a lot lately, with a few small ones making headlines as they whizzed past the Earth, “ says Plait “I get lots of questions about them!”

Are they dangerous? Maybe, is his answer.

Are we seeing more? Yes. But only because we’ve been getting better at looking for them.

Are we in danger of a giant impact? And can we stop an asteroid if we see it's going to hit us? Plait doesn’t think we’re in much trouble here. We have the ability to stop an impact but in his words “we would have to get serious about it.”

There are plenty of other astronomical events that can harm us, from supernovae, to black holes, to our very own sun. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Plait will present on these unique features of the Universe and what we can do at home on our own planet to shield ourselves from the worst of it. He says, “ I'm really excited to come to Portland to talk about all this, especially at the Bagdad; it looks like a perfect venue for the mix of science and humor in the talk. I hope lots of folks can come: after all, we might just save the world.” This is a special ticketed Science Pub open to all ages. Tickets are $20 each and are available at McMenamins box offices or online.

Did you know that there’s a fun, monthly event where you can eat and drink while learning about science? Did you know that Science Pub is held in seven different locations around Oregon? Want to know more about Science Pub and find out about upcoming topics? Check out our website here.

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