21.1.06

BBC NEWS | Education | Science 'not for normal people'

At least we are not hated.:

Teenagers value the role of science in society but feel scientists are 'brainy people not like them'
Science and innovation are the engines of prosperity. Governments that look to a more prosperous future should be working to counteract mass-media marketing to the lowest common denominator and the anti-itellectual backlash that began in the 70's. How to do this?
  • Invest in education
    • especially math and basic sciences from the earliest levels
    • develop new curricula that make science more engaging and less rote memorization
    • teach memorization techniques that allow more people to retain information for those large swathes of detail that need to be memorized
    • more science and engineering scholarships and co-op programs
  • Advertising
    • direct
    • co-marketing sponsorships such as tax credit for advertising or media that show science and scientists as being average and then above average in desirability (this one is tricky - it is government propaganda hidden in TV shows, not sure how I feel about that)

3 comments:

nudecybot said...

I agree. I would add that the scientist as a brainiac not like the average person is more of a MYTH which is sustained by the existince of genius celebrity scientists like Einstein and Feynman whereas the hard working, blue collar scientists who often stumble on new discoveries or simply figure them out through sheer determination. Science needs to be told like it happens rather than the idealist revisionist history seen in textbooks. I also blame the media - they are an easy target. The fact is that an interest in the subject combined with a reasonable work ethic is all it takes to do good things in science.

lucky said...

Unfortunately, it is the "solitary genius" archetype that can make science so appealing to audiences in the first place (and obviously makes for more dramatic narratives). The "eureka!" moment is something that everyone craves, not hundreds of hours toiling over esoteric minutiae.

Besides, we all know that the real path to scientific credibility and fame is assault: witness Einstein's lightning-quick mugging of some poor sap (and later, god) while working as a patent clerk. Clearly, children need to raised in the twin disciplines of A) rigorous scientific method and B) ferocious beatings.

Pacanukeha said...

Thrash them to within an inch of their life. And then quiz them about any near-death experience.