Operatic Snippets of Science

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 13 2013 8:00 AM

Songs of Science

Hai-Ting Chin sings about science
Hai-Ting Chin serenades (a cartoon version of) me with science.

Photo from the video

There’s cool, and then there’s cool: In this video, the gorgeously bethroated mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chin sings quotes about reality from various scientists and critical thinkers. Note who she starts off with!

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

The quote from me comes from a blog post I wrote about the launch of the European Planck mission. I was discussing the potential results of the mission, which was designed in part to discern between competing theories on the Big Bang model of the Universe:

Planck may very well have the resolution needed to see that. Do you understand the implications? We may be on the verge of determining if the origin of the Universe was a singular event, or if it was due to some other mechanism.
We're on the edge of "holy crap!" territory with this. We have progressed from last century's having no clue about how the cosmos got its start, to now possibly being able to get a handle on what happened before the Big Bang.
That's why I love science! Some people try to tell me that science will never answer the big questions we have in life. To them I say: baloney! The real problem is your questions aren't big enough.

I love what Hai-Ting did with this. She is herself a skeptic, and her website is loaded with clips of her music. I’ve written about her before—she wrote a piece based on an article I wrote about the motions of the Moon—as she has a magnificent voice and is a wonderful person. She also has a podcast with musician Matt Schickele called Scopes Monkey Choir. Give it a listen!

Oh, one more thing: In the Songs of Science video, the illustrations were done by my friend Maki Naro who is Kickstarting a new web comic called Sufficiently Remarkable. It looks like it’ll be really good, so you should throw some filthy lucre his way if you can.


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