I'm newly home from a highly enjoyable week in Laramie, Wyoming at Launch Pad, the NASA-funded astronomy program for authors. The Launch Pad mission: improving scientific literary through words and media.
It's as though someone doesn't want any more certified-science-free abominations like the recent mini-series Impact perpetrated upon an unsuspecting public.
So what's Launch Pad like? Immersion in astronomy, everything from the source of Earth's seasons to the nature of distant quasars. Immersion, too, in the company of fellow authors. Science-centric entertainment, from the stand-up routine of the Science Comedian to the these-are-the-ways-the-world-may-end stylings of bad-astronomy maven Phil Plait. A trip to the Wyoming Infrared Observatory.
Launch Pad is the brainchild of University of Wyoming astrophysicist -- and fellow SF author -- Mike Brotherton. Mike has done a bang-up (not to be confused with a Big Bang) job of documenting the recent festivities, including links to the many videos shot by our intrepid chronicler, writer and TV producer Stacey Cochran. (Spotting me among the videos is left as an exercise for the reader :-) )
I learned. I ate/drank. I spent a week with writers and scientists, during the International Year of Astronomy, overlapping the 4oth anniversary of the first moon landing! What SF author could ask for anything more?