This year’s conference highlights included Chitoshi Motoyama (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies) on Walt Disney, America and hyperrealism; Aya Luckel-Semoto (Kyoto University) on what “Finding Nemo” and “Pierrot Le Poisson Clown” can teach students about the complexities of plagiarism; and Walter Klinger (my colleague at the University of Shiga Prefecture) on the rhyme that never was in “Frozen”…
Congratulations to Yasushi Nakano, a teacher at Hyogo Prefectural Naruo High School, who won the prize I gave away during my presentation: a Principia mission patch :)
Solar eclipses have always provided ‘teachable moments’.
Two and a half millennia ago, a solar eclipse that had been predicted by the Greek philosopher Thales stopped a battle between the Medes and Lydians.
More recently, Tintin used an eclipse to escape from a South American tribe.
Back in the real world, in 1919, Arthur Eddington travelled to the equatorial island of Príncipe to record a total eclipse, and demonstrate that – in accordance with Einstein’s general theory of relativity – the light from stars is bent by the mass of the sun.
An English astronomer, proving the theory of a German physicist, just a few months after the end of the first world war, is one of the great examples of how science truly is a global enterprise.
And this same idea – that science is a unifying force that can bring together people from different parts of the world – is the basis of a project I’m running next year with Tadulako University in Indonesia.
The theme of the project is the solar eclipse of March 9th 2016, which will be a partial eclipse across a large area of Asia and Australia, and a total eclipse in some parts of Indonesia.
We’re running a series of “Global Communication and Science” workshops, that mix astronomy and English-language skills, and connect university students in Indonesia and Japan online for cross-border teamworking activities – including read-throughs of science-fiction movies.
The project is being sponsored by Garuda Indonesia. For more info, please visit tensentences.com.