Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Here's part of a PR email I got this morning.  It's for a new Alaska Science site and I'm sure there might be some readers who will be interested in this.

Fairbanks, Alaska (April 26, 2011) – A University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist has launched a National Science Foundation-supported website, Frontier Scientists, to connect Alaska field scientists with those curious about Arctic discoveries.
Frontier Scientists shares first-person accounts and real time insights from leading archeologists, grizzly bear biologists, volcanologists, climate change specialists and other scientists.
The site features fascinating footage of current scientific discoveries in some of the Arctic’s most remote and dramatic landscapes, chronicled in short vodcasts, Twitter feeds, blogs and web reports. The research is organized into six categories:
Cook Inlet Volcanoes
Alutiiq Weavers
Climate Change Watch

I believe scientists share blame for the decline in thinking abilities in the US.  They have often been so preoccupied with getting and spending their research money, that, with a few exceptions, they haven't taken responsibility for making sure our schools teach our children to be competent to think like scientists think when appropriate, or even just to understand what scientists do.  Things like:
  • basic thinking  skills that people of a democracy need to make good election choices, 
  • ability to understand what science and theories are and can and cannot do, 
  • understanding the complexity of the world and seeking 'truth' 
  • understanding the differences between scientific and emotional truths, and 
  • how to spot rhetorical fallacies.  
In short, I think many scientists, caught up in their own career and research pressures,  have abandoned the American tax-payers, who pay many scientists' salaries,  allowing them to fall victim to religious hucksters, political manipulators, business marketers, and media  moguls.  And now a sizable chunk of Americans have slipped into a modern mental dark age in which superstition trumps science. 

So, it's good to see even little efforts such as this new website and hope that it makes a small contribution to recovering some of those lost to simplistic black and white, good and evil narratives of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Rather, I think the education system has surely abandoned science. Yes, 'Media Scientists and Science Educators for the Media' have placed so much pressure on education systems. No way for them to catch up.

    Our education system has been so dumbed down. We are fortunate that there are still families who support their childrens' education and demand, find systems in order for their children to thrive.


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