What we’re about
Our Cosmos is a science advocacy group whose purpose is to promote community engagement and interest in all aspects of the Cosmos and to foster intellectual curiosity. Activities include exploring the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM), environmental science and medicine. Although originally oriented more toward the hard sciences, we now have expanded our focus to include science-related social issues such as public health, conservation, and the environment. Our Cosmos strives to bring attention to information, people, and organizations that will advance knowledge, benefit society and improve the way we live. It was inspired by the world renowned late astronomer and science popularizer, Dr. Carl Sagan.
The primary focus is through an edutainment (education and entertainment) platform; e.g. stage venues, lectures, hands-on exhibits, and tours of geological/archaeological/astronomical/other sites.
Most in-person activities are centered in the Orange County/Los Angeles greater metropolitan areas. This Meetup was designed to create a real, face-to-face community. Friends and family are always invited except for certain events due to space limitation. Our Platform involves meeting real people and doing real things in the real world.
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020 we have been presenting a wide array of webinars, talks, and other online events from all over the world. There is a rich and diverse range of offerings online and we will continue to present these to you.
Having said that, the focus of the group remains in-person events.
We encourage our members to contact us with ideas for events!
One Last Thing!
The goal is for each event to be interesting and memorable for everyone. Some events require reserving places for those who have RSVP'd or meeting at a specific place so that we all go as a group. If you are signed up and do not show up, you are a No-Show. If this is a habit, you may be blocked from signing up for some events or even removed from the group. Generally we only allow two or three No-Shows before doing this. We ask that you please be responsible and communicative so the rest of the group does not end up waiting for you when you aren't coming. No-Shows include last-minute cancellations for events with waiting lists.
Upcoming events (4)See all
- [Online Event] Plastics: Challenges and PotentialNeeds location
Free online event by Science History Institute
Part of the T. T. Chao Symposium on Innovation collection
The T. T. Chao Symposium on Innovation explores, celebrates, and encourages innovation and sustainability in the chemical sciences.
Date: Wednesday, December 6 · 2:30 - 5pm PST
RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/online-event-plastics-challenges-and-potential-registration-699101289777
About this event:
Synthetic plastics—once heralded as the materials of the future—are now recognized as a growing environmental threat. But when did our wonder and excitement about plastic products transform into anxiety and doubt?
When Did Plastics Become a Problem?
Join us for a lively panel conversation exploring this question. Expert speakers will examine plastics history and share perspectives ranging from local to global—and share inspiring contemporary case studies that approach the promise and perils of plastics in new and innovative ways. From plastics circularity in healthcare to changing modes of recycling, to global plastics industry collaborations and beyond, this dynamic and interactive event will give you new perspectives on the shifting world of plastics—and the future of your everyday environment.
The Science History Institute is pleased to present this event in collaboration with the T. T. Chao Symposium on Innovation and the Organization of American States.
- Jeremy A. Greene, Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
- David Parrillo, Dow
- Maurice M. Sampson II, Clean Water Action
- Mona Webber, University of the West Indies
About the T. T. Chao Symposium on Innovation
The T. T. Chao Symposium on Innovation explores, celebrates, and encourages innovation and sustainability in the chemical sciences. It brings together established and emerging leaders in the technical, entrepreneurial, healthcare, and policy arenas to share innovative ideas that impact our world. This annual symposium is made possible by a gift from the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation in Houston, Texas.
About the Series
The Science and Society speaker series explores the history of science embedded in our everyday lives. We invite scientists, historians, policy makers, and educators for engaging, in-depth conversations that expand our perspectives. Program formats include lectures, interviews, roundtables, and book launches. Science and Society events are curated for an adult audience, fostering curiosity, conversation, and interactivity. Each evening concludes with a free reception with the speakers.
Featured image: Plastic wares sales display featuring Dow Styron, 1949.
- Online: Exploring the ocean multiverse with Tara OceansNeeds location
Online event by Carnegie Science
Sign up even if you can't attend live. Their events are usually recorded, and I will post a link to the recording when it's available.
Date & Time: Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. PST
Register here: https://carnegiescience.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0Q0PjlxET1yBpbBq4nha-g#/registration
The ocean is the Earth's largest ecosystem, but we know very little about it. This is particularly true for plankton, even though they form the base of marine food webs and are key players in Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Ocean plankton are at least as important for the Earth system as the forests on land, but most of them are invisible to the naked eye and thus are largely uncharacterized. To increase our understanding of this underexplored world, a multidisciplinary consortium, Tara Oceans, was formed around the research sailboat Tara, which sampled plankton in all the major oceanic regions during expeditions between 2009 and 2013.
This program will summarize the Tara Ocean project's efforts to the largest DNA sequencing effort for the oceans. It provides unique resources for several scientific disciplines that are foundational for mapping ocean biodiversity of a wide range of organisms that are rarely studied together, exploring their interactions, and integrating biology into our physical and chemical understanding of the ocean. The project's efforts are also vital to identifying new organisms and genes of biotechnological interest. Tara Ocean's resources are critical for developing baseline information for tracking the impact of climate change on the ocean.
*Romain Troublé* - Executive Director, Tara Ocean Foundation
*Chris Bowler* - Director, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Section of the Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure
*Matthew Sullivan* - Director, Center of Microbiome Science at Ohio State University
- A Genetic Mechanism Underlying a Form of AutismBeckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences & Engineering, Irvine, CA
In-Person event by Distinctive Voices
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 7:00 PM
100 Academy Way Irvine, CA 92617
Free, but please register here. Limited number of seats:
Tickets are free but limited—online reservations are required.
Please join the e-mail list to receive announcements when reservations open 1 week prior to each event.
A Genetic Mechanism Underlying a Form of Autism/Intellectual Disability and Insight Into a Potential Treatment
Towards understanding developmental mechanisms that cause neurodevelopmental disorders we study the effect of mutating a gene (Tbr1) that can cause autism and intellectual disability. We have identified several steps in development that are disrupted in Tbr1 mutants including specifying the fate of cortical layer 6 neurons and promoting the synaptic connections of these neurons. We found that the latter defect can be partially corrected with Lithium chloride.
» John Rubenstein, University of California, San Francisco
- Hybrid: The Galactic Underworld: The Milky Way’s Sea of Dormant Black Holes1216 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA
Hybrid Event by Caltech Astronomy
IN-PERSON EVENT IS NO-HOST
Date: Friday, Dec. 8, 8:00 pm
Venue: 1216 E California Blvd Pasadena, CA 91125
Link to online stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW_BP1-zqQs
There are ~100 million black holes lurking throughout the Milky Way, but how do we detect them and how do they affect their surroundings? Join us Friday, December 8th @ 8PM for a 30-minute public lecture investigating these topics and more, followed by a panel Q&A consisting of several astrophysicists to answer your questions about astronomy, astrophysics, and space science.
This public astronomy event will be hosted both in-person as well as live-streamed over YouTube Live. The lecture will be 30 minutes, followed by a 90-minute session of telescope-aided stargazing and a Q&A Panel consisting of experts in the department on a variety of astronomy and astrophysical topics. You can attend in person or interact with us through the YouTube interface. Event is free and open to all, no reservations necessary.
For more information, click on the poster image or visit our webpage: http://outreach.astro.caltech.edu
Title: The Galactic Underworld: The Milky Way’s Sea of Dormant Black Holes
Speaker: Kareem El-Badry
Abstract: About 100 million black holes are thought to lurk in the Milky Way. The vast majority of these black holes — which are corpses of long-dead generations of massive stars — emit no detectable light and only very rarely interact with their surroundings. I will describe how astronomers know this vast population of quiet black holes exists and how large-scale surveys of the Milky Way are beginning to detect the black holes' gravitational effects. I will also discuss relation between these nearby black holes and those being discovered by gravitational wave detectors.