Saturday, October 31, 2015

An unexpected delight: Working with the Sacramento Speakers Series

I am more likely to get things I don't deserve than I am to be denied things I do deserve. So there I was on a Tuesday night, introducing physics media star, Dr. Michio Kaku to an audience of some 2000 at the Community Center Theater, where he was the second celebrity in this year's Sacramento Speakers Series.

I was given the honor of being the introducer via my connection to Rio's Civitas program chair, Linda Reed. She works with the Series' "Share the Vision" program, which affords local high school students a special pre-show audience with the speakers. They get their own question and answer session with the luminaries. Quite brilliant, really.

Michio Kaku is well-known in the physics community as a prolific author and frequent media science expert. He's carved out a niche in prognosticating the "science of the future". He's very comfortable in front of the camera, and speaks with confidence and authority on the scientific topic of the day. This distinguishes him from most physicists, and it makes him a reliable media darling for journalists.

Kaku's presentations on how things will be in the future are captivating. I confess to not being well-versed in Kaku's expansive oeuvre. I even floated the notion of introducing Kaku to my physics- and skepticism-rich friendosphere on the off chance that Kaku advocated some weirdness that would set him outside the scientific mainstream. I didn't want to be heaping praise on anyone with a "Dr. Oz problem". No objections were raised, so heap praise I did. (The script of my introduction is in the comments.)

Everyone associated with the Sacramento Speakers Series was first-class and professional. They took very good care of me, and it was very groovy to hang out with the principal organizers, manager, Dr. Kaku, and ABC10's Cristina Mendonsa backstage in the green room. She's as personable as she is polished, and did a great job interviewing Kaku and managing the audience question cards. I made a point to personally thank Mitch Ostwald and each of the organizers who worked with me to facilitate my wee role in the evening. They are doing great work and adding to the cosmopolitan nature of Sacramento. [Photos courtesy of The Sacramento Speakers Series]

1 comment:

Dean Baird said...

My introduction:

On behalf of our future scientists, it is truly an honor to introduce tonight’s speaker, Dr. Michio Kaku.
Having received degrees from Harvard and UC Berkeley, Dr. Kaku has been a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York for the last 30 years.

He is an internationally recognized authority in two areas. The first is Einstein’s unified field theory, which Dr. Kaku is attempting to complete. The other is predicting trends that affect business, commerce, and finance based on the latest research in science.

He is the author of several international best-sellers, including two New York Times best-sellers, Physics of the Future, and Physics of the Impossible. He is also a frequent guest on news programs and talk shows and a regular contributor to print media. His web presence is expansive and expanding.

Dr. Kaku is one of the most widely recognized figures in science in the world today.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Dr. Michio Kaku.