Big Picture Science
August 5, 2019: Flat Earth
The Earth is not round. Technically, it’s an oblate spheroid. But for some people, the first statement is not even approximately correct. Flat Earthers believe that our planet resembles – not a slightly squashed grapefruit – but a thick pancake. A journalist who covered a Flat Earth convention describes the rationale behind this ever-more popular belief.
So how do you establish science truth? We look at the difference between a truly scientific examination of extraordinary claims and approaches that feel and look science‑y but aren’t.
Find out how one man will use telescopes and balloons in the desert to demonstrate that the Earth is a globe, while a biologist runs a test on the waters of Loch Ness to see if it contains prehistoric reptile DNA.
And what happens when amateur investigators chase ghosts, UFOs, and Bigfoot with science instruments, but without an understanding of the scientific method.
Alex Moshakis – Journalist who writes for the Observer, the Guardian, and Esquire. His article on the U.K.’s first Flat Earth convention appeared in May, 2018 in the Guardian.
Harry Dyer – Lecturer in education at the University of East Anglia. His article about the flat earth convention is titled “I Watched an Entire Flat Earth Convention for my Research, Here is What I Learned.”
Neil Gemmell – Professor in the Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand
Sharon Hill – Geologist, science writer, speaker, and author of “Scientifical Americans: The Culture of Amateur Paranormal Researchers.”