|Philip Cary Plait|
Phil Plait at The Amaz!ng Meeting on January 20, 2007.
September 30, 1964 |
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Fields||Physics, astronomy, science communication|
|Institutions||Sonoma State University|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan, University of Virginia|
|Bad Astronomy blog|
Philip Cary Plait, Ph.D. (born September 30, 1964) (a.k.a. The Bad Astronomer) is an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and popular science blogger. He has written two books, Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies. He has also appeared in several science documentaries, including Phil Plait's Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel. On August 4, 2008, he became President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, serving in that position until January 1, 2010.
Plait grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. He attended the University of Michigan and received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Virginia in 1994 with a thesis on supernova SN 1987A, which he studied with the Supernova Intensive Study (SINS).
During the 1990s, Plait worked with the COBE satellite and later was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working largely on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. He went on to perform web-based public outreach for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other NASA-funded missions while at Sonoma State University from 2000 to 2007.
His first book, Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax", deals with much the same subject matter as his website. His second book, Death from the Skies!: These are the Ways the World Will End, describes ways astronomical events could wipe out life on Earth.
Plait appeared on two Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episodes. In season 3, he argued against the Apollo Moon landing conspiracy theory and in season 7 against astrology. His work has also appeared in the Encyclopædia Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future and Astronomy magazine. Plait is also a frequent guest on the SETI Institute's weekly science radio show Big Picture Science.
He left the James Randi Educational Foundation as President to focus on a secret TV project, later to be revealed as Phil Plait's Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel. The three-part documentary series first aired in the United States on August 29, 2010, but was not picked up as a series. He has appeared in numerous science documentaries and programs including How the Universe Works.
Badastronomy.com was a website created in the late '90s dedicated to clearing up public misconceptions about astronomy and space science in movies, the news, print, and on the Internet. Plait also debunked several pseudoscientific theories related to space and astronomy, such as Planet X, Richard C. Hoagland's theories, and most famously, the Moon landing "hoax." Plait's original website is now archived and can still be viewed, although badastronomy.com now redirects to his current Bad Astronomy blog.
In 2005, Plait started the Bad Astronomy blog. In July 2008, it began to be hosted by Discover magazine. Primarily an astronomy blog, Plait also posts about skepticism, pseudoscience, antiscience with occasional personal and political posts.
On November 12, 2012, the Bad Astronomy blog moved to Slate magazine, ending four years of being hosted by Discover magazine. Plait tells Richard Saunders that they [Slate] "are very supportive... a new community." Revisiting old posts, Plait stated, "I've written about everything, when you've written 7,000 blog posts you've pretty much written about every topic in astronomy."
- Plait, Philip C. (2002). Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax". Illustrations by Tina Cash Walsh. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-40976-6. LCCN 2002277382. OCLC 48885221.
- —— (2008). Death from the Skies!: These are the Ways the World Will End. New York: Viking Penguin. ISBN 978-0-670-01997-7. LCCN 2008022943. OCLC 213308770.
|2012||Curiosity||Episode #2.12 - "Sun Storms"||TV series documentary|
|2012||The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson||Episode #8.184||TV series|
|2010-12||How the Universe Works||"Extreme Planets"
"Planets from Hell"
"Birth of the Earth"
|TV series documentary|
|2011||Captain Disillusion: Fame Curve Collection||Video short|
|2010||Bad Universe||"Death Stars"
|TV series documentary|
|Known Universe||"Stellar Storms"
|TV series documentary|
|2008||Naked Science||"Hubble's Amazing Universe"||TV series documentary|
|2007||Is It Real?||"Life on Mars"||TV series documentary|
|The Zula Patrol||"Larva or Leave Me/Egg Hunt"
"There Goes the Neighborhood"
|2006||Nova||"Monster of the Milky Way"||TV series documentary|
|2005, 2009||Penn & Teller: Bullshit!||"Conspiracy Theories"
- Plait, Phil (August 4, 2008). "Randi's big shoes to Phil". Bad Astronomy (Blog (at Discover)). Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing Co. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- "James Randi Educational Foundation Names New President" (Press release). Fort Lauderdale, FL: James Randi Educational Foundation. December 7, 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- Plait, Phil (April 8, 2007). "Big Announcement Part 1: My next book!". Bad Astronomy (Blog (at Slate)). Washingtion, D.C.: The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- Plait, Phil (July 23, 2010). "My Sooper Sekrit Project: REVEALED!". Bad Astronomy (Blog (at Discover)). Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing Co. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- O'Neill, Ian (August 29, 2010). "Bad Universe Preview: Will an Asteroid Hit Earth?". Discovery News (Silver Spring, MD: Discovery Communications, Inc.). Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- "Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy: Home Page". Bad Astronomy. Phil Plait. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- Aylward, Kevin (November 1, 2007). "Best Science Blog". The Weblog Awards. Potomac Falls, VA: Kevin Aylward. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- McNichol, Tom. "25 Best Blogs 2009". Time.com. New York: Time Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- Saunders, Richard (November 24, 2012). "The Skeptic Zone #214 - 24.Nov.2012". The Skeptic Zone (Podcast). Pittsburgh, PA: Liberated Syndication. Event occurs at 0:06:30. http://skepticzone.libsyn.com/the-skeptic-zone-214-24-nov-2012. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
- Plait, Phil (November 2, 2012). "Big news: Bad Astronomy is moving to Slate magazine". Bad Astronomy (Blog (at Discover)). Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing Co. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- "Dr. Phil Plait, aka "The Bad Astronomer" PR Kit: Biography". Bad Astronomy. Phil Plait. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- "Science Getaways". sciencegetaways.com. Boulder, CO: Phil Plait. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- Medkeff, Jeffrey S. (March 25, 2008). "Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, and (165347) Philplait". Blue Collar Scientist (Blog). Jeffrey S. Medkeff. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- "165347 Philplait (2000 WG11)". JPL Small-Body Database Browser. NASA. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Phil Plait|
- Bad Astronomy Blog
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