The educational system (especially in the U.S.) has failed to provide a useful appreciation of the sciences. Because of that, we have a string of social issues that stem from the generalized ignorance about the world we live in. Instead of just being disgusted by the plentiful ignorance, I’d like to try to do something about it.
In light of the posts below (from one of my Facebook threads)…I am seriously thinking about starting a multi-author blog in order to teach from this standpoint–I want to have guest authors post about their area of expertise and/or interest in regard to sciences. Science, easily explained for the masses, regardless of whether or not we think they ought to ALREADY understand. I would have the writers simply include their sources, and use reputable ones for anything they write about, unless it is strictly an opinion piece or speculative, in which case, they would state that too.
Before I buy a blog domain, I am anxious to know if any of my readers or Facebook/Twitter friends would be interested in taking part in something like this.
Kelli Jae Baeli shared a link.
As much as i loathe the idea of Dumbing Down, science education has to reach more people and the only way to do that is to do this
STONY BROOK, N.Y. — Among the procedures Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce performed on “M.A.S.H.” was an end-to-end anastomosis. Most of the viewers, actor Alan Alda concedes, had no idea he was talking about removing a damaged piece of intestine and reconnecting the healthy pieces.
- Teresa Larsen, David Prentice and 2 others like this.
- Jim Parker Never liked Alan Alda. Always comes off as an arrogant SOB.
Like · Reply · 2 · May 6 at 11:30pm via mobile
- Rob Moore Given that a great deal of technical terms have their roots in a foreign language (or just flat out in Latin or Greek), it isn’t a matter of “dumbing down” it’s literally speaking the same language.
Like · Reply · 3 · May 6 at 11:35pm
- David Prentice I really like the idea. As he said, even trying to get ‘climate change’ across to politicians is next to impossible. The simpler we can express it, the less people can use language as an excuse for ignorance.
Unlike · Reply · 4 · May 6 at 11:42pm
- Trace Ahlers · Friends with Andrew Skegg and 11 others
It is a good idea. This issue is highlighted (comedically) on Bones. To her the jargon is simple but to the layperson not so much.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · May 7 at 12:56pm · Edited
- Denise DeSio I’ve always loved this guy. Humility is overrated. This is a smart guy with a mission. Go Alda!
Unlike · Reply · 3 · May 7 at 4:31am
- Patrick R O’Donnell · Friends with Rob Moore
My understanding is that this has been a fairly understood need for sometime, and that many institutes of higher education have been seeking to train their students on better ways to communicate with the general public. If you consider many corporate structures for instance, in order to gain funding, or justify experiments a scientist in a specialized field may need to explain his programs to executive personnel on a VERY different educational track.
Unlike · Reply · 2 · May 7 at 7:01am
- Kelli Jae Baeli Yes i agree with all of you. It needs to be done. As I’ve said before “communication is less about saying what you mean, and more about defining what you say.” If the masses can’t understand science, it needs to be available in an understood form–just so long as we can get the more intellectual versions, as well.
Like · Reply · 3 · May 7 at 12:01pm
- Ken Surridge · Friends with David Mills and 122 others
What happened to school, the seat of early learning?
Like · Reply · May 7 at 12:14pm
- Peter Williams · Friends with David Mills and 63 others
Science is not about understanding, Its about striving to understand. Todays facts are tomorrows flat earth. Dont dumb it down. It just breeds the mentality “I know it now”, And dont need to study further.
Like · Reply · May 7 at 12:30pm
- Kelli Jae Baeli Peter, as i said in the beginning of this, it bothers me to cater to ignorance and laziness, but there are just too many people who are NOT understanding science, and the hardline in this may have to move toward the middle, if we are to hope for ameliorating the religious zealotry and generalized ignorance in our society. If we become too hyperfocused on maintaining that hardline, then we risk being guilty of the same hyperfocus that zealots and the ignorant have. And then they learn nothing, nothing changes. Believe me, i have a distinct passion about learning, and a pervasive intolerance of STUPID, but we’re not getting through to them as we should. Something has to change, and of course, it’s not going to be them, so we have to take the reins–the rational ones, and if we have to teach them like we do children, then let’s do that. Even though it irks me to no end that we have to.
Like · Reply · 2 · May 7 at 12:47pm · Edited
- David Prentice As an example, I teach basic counselling skills to new telephone counsellors. When I spout jargon, which I love to do, because to me it all fits together nicely and is best explained by the genuine language of the subject, I see blank faces and questions that frustrate me. They frustrate me because the person clearly hasn’t grasped the essence of what I’m teaching. When I use role plays and exercises that illustrate the dynamics I’m trying to teach, people’s energy increases, their appetites increase and the dialogue that ensues demonstrates understanding. It’s VERY satisfying, and you see the sincere gratitude of those who now understand better.They really want to know, but I shut down their curiosity if I threaten their ego (nobody likes to look stupid). I engage them when I speak to their existing understanding and grow it from there, using experience they can relate to.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · May 7 at 1:13pm · Edited
- Patrick R O’Donnell · Friends with Rob Moore
To those that suggest there should be no effort made to explain terms for the general public….. are there no fields with which you are unfamiliar? No matter what field of study you choose to enter you are going to have to be able to converse with tho…See More
Unlike · Reply · 2 · May 7 at 1:13pm
- Benjamin Tippett · Friends with Teresa Larsen
not to toot my own horn, but (www.titaniumphysics.com) the truth can be conveyed without jargon. and when it is, it’s fascinating and mind blowing!
The Titanium Physicists Podcast | The boundary between the incomprehensible and the well explained
Episode 31: Pushing Mirrors with Megan HarnsPosted on April 7, 2013 by bnReplyPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadBruce lee performing experiments on the Cassimir Effect.What happens when you take two mirrors and point them at each other? well, yes. infinity mirrors… Maybe some Kung-Fu.but. If it’…
Unlike · Reply · Remove Preview · 5 · May 7 at 1:43pm
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