Monday, June 02, 2008

Putting science into people's lives

A thoughtful op-ed article from the New York Times, June 1:

Put a Little Science in Your Life

Published: June 1, 2008
Science is a language of hope and inspiration, providing discoveries that fire the imagination and instill a sense of connection to our lives and our world.

'... in teaching our students, we continually fail to activate rich opportunities for revealing the breathtaking vistas opened up by science, and instead focus on the need to gain competency with science’s underlying technical details.

'In fact, many students I’ve spoken to have little sense of the big questions those technical details collectively try to answer: Where did the universe come from? How did life originate? How does the brain give rise to consciousness? Like a music curriculum that requires its students to practice scales while rarely if ever inspiring them by playing the great masterpieces, this way of teaching science squanders the chance to make students sit up in their chairs and say, “Wow, that’s science?”'

Brian Greene, a professor of physics at Columbia, is the author of “The Elegant Universe” and “The Fabric of the Cosmos.”

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