Article link of the month: Libraries becoming mecca for scientists


At the Cornerstones workshop (12/6): Susan Ryan, Dr. Lee Grodzins and Cynthia Randall

Reflections on Cornerstones

Closing one chapter, opening the next

Dear Cornerstones friends and supporters -

We are sad to say farewell this month to our Associate Director, Susan Ryan, who has moved back to the green hills of central New York to be closer to family and begin a new job at Binghamton University.

Susan has been the creative force behind much of our outreach and communication through monthly newsletters, website updates, and social media. She was instrumental in developing grants for our celebration of Silent Spring, and using her network of science researchers to support our science cafes, book clubs and panel discussions. Susan also played a key role in connecting with local astronomers and helping to launch our Library Telescope Program.  

Susan will be missed, but will no doubt, remain an advisor to us in the future. In January, we will introduce and welcome our new Director of Science Communication, Dave Carpenter. Until then, read on and...

Have a wonderful holiday season.

Cynthia Randall
Executive Director


Dear friends -

I'm not good at saying goodbye, and with a little research, I imagine studies would show that no one really is. As humans, we are programmed to make connections, to find common threads and to strengthen the ties between us over time.  This is what I experienced at Cornerstones. From my first meeting with Lee and Lulu Grodzins at a coffee shop in March of 2011, to the library partner workshops, to my last "official" event in Portland last week - I have been inspired by the passion and energy our Conerrstones community has for science education in Maine and beyond.

I felt lucky to have worked for brief time with previous director, Jocelyn Hubbell, who built the foundation of an extraordinary program. I am most grateful for the last 15 months with Cindy Randall, who has been both an enthusiastic leader and a supportive colleague every step of the way.  Cindy, along with Lee, and our board members and advisors, are an amazing group of dedicated and passionate people whom I will truly miss.

When I think back, I will think of the wonderful people I have worked with and learned from along the way - fine folks like Ron Thompson and the Southern Maine Astronomers; Linda Oliver at Curtis Memorial; and all of the librarians, educators and scientists who have shared their time, energy and talents to help "bring science to life in our local libraries."

Thank you all for your kindness and support along the way.

Wishing you all the best for new year and always,


The Night Sky Network

December is a great time to observe the wonders of the night sky as the winter solstice approaches and nights grow longer; sunset in Maine is as early as 4 pm and the opportunities for viewing abound.  This site, hosted by NASA, includes events and night sky facts for beginners and hobbyists alike.   Check out the Sky Charts, Weather Forecasts and the Satellite Sighting feature - to find out when the International Space Station can be seen from your

On the Media: How Publishing and Reading are Changing

NPR, November 23, 2012:  This is an eye-opening collection of interviews on the changing world of book publishing, authorship and readership.  Find out the role Amazon plays in undercutting book prices; how unknown authors can publish copycat books like “I Am the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo;” how books are translated and pirated for non-English readers; and the future of book publishing in the electronic age.

Book spotlight

2012 Pulitzer winner for nonfiction, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt, examines how an ancient text helped to bring the world out of the dark ages 600 years ago.


Sounds Like Science in January 2013

Skidompha Library and Mad Science of Maine present:
Sounds Like Science: An interactive program on the science of sound for ages 5 and above. Free!
Saturday, January 12th, 10-11 am
184 Main Street Damariscotta, ME
Please register by calling 563-1058.
SAVE THE DATE: Read, Write & Win contest ends March 22, 2013
Stay tuned for more details!

(Image: Amy Hand, Camden)

2012 – A Scientific Reality Check

December 21, 2012 – Is it the end of the world? Find out in this humorous and scientific article from Don Yoemans at NASA: “There apparently is a great deal of interest in celestial bodies, and their locations and trajectories at the end of the calendar year 2012. Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV and the movies is not based on science. There is even a fake NASA news release out there… So here is the scientific reality on the celestial happenings in the year 2012.”

Quote of the Month

“Hooray! Hooray! The end of the world has been postponed! ”
― Hergé, The Shooting Star, 1942
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Copyright © 2012 Cornerstones of Science, All rights reserved.
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