How to increase the popularity of Science? - Page 2

How to increase the popularity of Science?

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This is a discussion on How to increase the popularity of Science? within the Science and Technology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; kindergarten spent mostly outside learning about social skills devoted to nature & caring for it In Finland, this fundamental belief ...

  1. #11

    kindergarten spent mostly outside

    learning about social skills devoted to nature & caring for it

    In Finland, this fundamental belief is used in their kindergarten programs

    this is why they are the most accomplished early learning defenders in the 21st century

    than again they are one of the most academically well funded countries in the world
    Last edited by Rez; 01-11-2011 at 04:15 PM.
    snail, geGamedev and teddy564339 thanked this post.

  2. #12

    Introduce them to TV shows like Numb3rs or create similar ones.

  3. #13

    Google is hosting the world's first online science fair for youth, maybe that will help.

    Google Global Science Fair 2011
    susurration thanked this post.

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  5. #14

    Quote Originally Posted by Rez View Post
    kindergarten spent mostly outside

    learning about social skills devoted to nature & caring for it

    In Finland, this fundamental belief is used in their kindergarten programs

    this is why they are the most accomplished early learning defenders in the 21st century

    than again they are one of the most academically well funded countries in the world
    There, the money might actually get to the classroom, according to my freind (30+ years teaching special ed, being a principle, councilor and damn near every other position in her career here in CA) money isn't an issue, there's plenty, but it doesn't filter through the Bureaucracy down to the class and yet, they scream for more money, more, more, more....with the guilt club of 'think of the children!' as the weapon. and yes, I include the ruling levels of the teachers union too.

  6. #15

    It needs to be less nerdy and start being cooler for people to start caring about it. When was the last time science made a scene at the VMAs? When was the last time science almost choked to death on a pretzel? When was the last time science did anything that didn't impact your life at all that the media made a big deal out of?

    Never. Once it starts doing stuff like that, people will start caring.

  7. #16

    Quote Originally Posted by skycloud86 View Post
    What, in your opinion, needs to be done in order to make Science more interesting to society in general? How can we attract people away from brainless reality television and worshipping celebrity, and towards more fulfilling subjects like Science?
    First of all, all people have different interests, so you won't ever attract everyone to science by merely changing your promotion strategies or tactics. Secondly, brainless reality television and celebrity worshipping is easier to do and grasp as it requires much less brain cells to actually accomplish and appreciate. I don't think any amount of education or proper social conditioning will make enough people think otherwise to truly ever get rid of such popular trends. Third, it's obvious that more education concerning science would help, so that people have more exposure to it. But as far as I'm concerned, there is an adequate amount of science in society, largely, and it therefore seems that people simply have other interests and social preferences, so that the only way to truly promote science would be to simply get rid of the other choices (predominantly notions of fairy tale religious beliefs which draw people away from science, as it's seen as threatening to such views).

    But all in all, my first point is the most important. Some people will enjoy science and some just won't.
    We really cannot rationally expect people to like it in mass numbers. It takes a particular kind of nature to truly appreciate it (in particular, a love of knowledge, facts, and rational thinking).
    Nearsification thanked this post.

  8. #17

    Firstly, to change the conception of what 'science' is. It is not merely a subject one dapples in to obtain 'facts' (which is really not the case with science) but it is fundamentally a framework to understand life. It is a way of thinking and engaging with the world. It goes beyond the realms people draw around it. It is not a subject. It is a mindset, a set of lenses. Science is not about facts; it is about relationships, concepts, principals, fundamental units, interdependence, systems, balance etc. It is not a cohesive unit or institution, it is a playing field of many minds, where no science is equal.

    In order to comprehend science, one must develop the skills over time to 'think scientifically and mathematically' (it's not something one can be taught, but must be developed). Otherwise they see themselves as separate from science as 'an institution' and thus any scientific understanding of the world, they consider 'beyond them' and better in the hands of 'experts' ( who they tend to distrust anyway). So in order to comprehend science, one must draw from multiple angles; (maths, history etc).

    After understanding what science is and involves, a person can then understand why it is not 'wrong', 'bad', or 'counterproductive' if something hypothesised proves to be wrong, or something held to be evident proves false. This is not something to see as a bad thing, but ultimately the best thing that could happen. The scientific method does not ensure or promise stability. People have to understand that. Only if you begin to grasp the complexity of the world, can you begin to appreciate what a difficult task it is to embark on any scientific endeavor. Most people don't understand this unfortunately.

    Americans like technology but seldom have a grasp of the science behind it. And the mathematics that is behind the science is regarded as even more mysterious, like an inner sanctum into which only initiates may gain entry. They see the rich and nourishing technological fruit on this tree of knowledge, but they see no deeper than the surface branches and twigs on which these fruits grow. To them, the region behind this exterior of the tree, where the trunk and limbs grow, is pointless and purposeless. "What's the use of math?" is the common query. "I'll never use it." When a nation's leaders are composed primarily of lawyers, administrators, military men and stars of the entertainment industry rather than statesmen, philosophers, the spiritual, and the men and women of science, then it sh...ould be no surprise that there is so little grasp of the simple reality that one cannot dispense with the trunk and limbs and still continue to enjoy the fruit.

    ..... What is it that would cause us to focus only on this external fruit of material development and play down the antecedent realms of abstraction that lie deeper? It would be good to find a word less condemning than "superficiality", but how else can this tendency be described in a word? Perhaps facing up to the ugly side of this word can stir us into action to remedy what seems to be an extremely grave crisis in Western education.

    .... The first step toward [progress in crucial social problems] is to recognize the deceptive illusions bred by seeing only the surface of issues, of seeing only a myriad of small areas to be dealt with by specialists, one for each area. Piecemeal superficiality won't work.

    ... Teaching is not a matter of pouring knowledge from one mind into another as one pours water from one glass into another. It is more like one candle igniting another. Each candle burns with its own fuel. The true teacher awakens a love for truth and beauty in the heart--not the mind--of a student after which the student moves forward with powerful interest under the gentle guidance of the teacher. (Isn't it interesting how the mention of these two most important goals of learning--truth and beauty--now evokes snickers and ridicule, almost as if by instinct, from those who shrink from all that is not superficial.) These kinds of teachers will inspire love of mathematics, while so many at present diffuse a distaste for it through their own ignorance and clear lack of delight in a very delightful subject"

    Mathematics is often thought of in terms of content such as number, space and measurement;
    procedures for computing, constructing or measuring; or applications across a wide range of
    situations. Yet, it is more aptly described as a way of thinking which allows concepts, processes and
    their uses to be built up, problems to be explored and solved, conjectures to be made and examined,
    and complex ideas about the world to be communicated in precise, succinct ways. Indeed, an ability
    to think with and about mathematics has replaced the memorisation of set procedures and the solution
    of routine problems as the focus of mathematics learning at all levels. Understanding number
    concepts and operations and the ways they might be expressed will still be crucial in underpinning
    these ideas, but so too will an ability to determine whether results, predictions and the implications
    based on them seem reasonable. Thus, making sense of mathematics needs to be a central concern,
    replacing speed in solving exercises and the external reward of a teacher’s mark or approval as
    measures of success.
    geGamedev, Martini, Ectoplasm and 4 others thanked this post.

  9. #18

    I'm going to suggest "representation in everyday life." The science does not need to be understood in everyday life (e.g in motor racing) for said entertainment to be enjoyed. It's a realm of hypothetics or theoretical models which do not need to be touched. There is no need to, no reason for people to go there.

    In our day and age we seek instant pleasures without working for it. In the past a person had to work many hours a week of back breaking labour so they could enjoy a brief rewarding respite. This isn't so much the case in the Western World these days, I'm not saying that's a bad thing but I am saying that if Science is viewed as unnecessary "hard work" without instant gratification it will be avoided like the plague.

    What you need to do is either encourage people to work through science or to advertise science as something fun. Our generation get much through the media of televsion and internet. It needs to be marketed as fun and enjoyable. E.g. chemistry experiments which go volatile or exciting and the advert is marked as "want to enjoy this? Sign up as chemists and biologists!"

    In a similar vein they advertise as "Help us explore the deepest secrets of space! Help us learn all the mysteries so that we can one day go on vacation to other worlds! Work towards becoming physicists today!"

    Maybe its slightly cynical (as is all marketing) but it will help people who would otherwise have no interest in it to desire to be more involved in the process. Thats essentially what happened to me as a child, I've loved space ever since.
    susurration, sprinkles and Zster thanked this post.

  10. #19

    Quote Originally Posted by Ectoplasm View Post
    I'm going to suggest "representation in everyday life." The science does not need to be understood in everyday life (e.g in motor racing) for said entertainment to be enjoyed. It's a realm of hypothetics or theoretical models which do not need to be touched. There is no need to, no reason for people to go there.

    In our day and age we seek instant pleasures without working for it. In the past a person had to work many hours a week of back breaking labour so they could enjoy a brief rewarding respite. This isn't so much the case in the Western World these days, I'm not saying that's a bad thing but I am saying that if Science is viewed as unnecessary "hard work" without instant gratification it will be avoided like the plague.

    What you need to do is either encourage people to work through science or to advertise science as something fun. Our generation get much through the media of televsion and internet. It needs to be marketed as fun and enjoyable. E.g. chemistry experiments which go volatile or exciting and the advert is marked as "want to enjoy this? Sign up as chemists and biologists!"

    In a similar vein they advertise as "Help us explore the deepest secrets of space! Help us learn all the mysteries so that we can one day go on vacation to other worlds! Work towards becoming physicists today!"

    Maybe its slightly cynical (as is all marketing) but it will help people who would otherwise have no interest in it to desire to be more involved in the process. Thats essentially what happened to me as a child, I've loved space ever since.
    I think though, that if people are really to accept scientific thinking, they have to acknowledge that not everything may automatically give one instant gratification, or the cheap thrills and entertainment people have come to expect from media sources. Science like maths, isn't something to be passively consumed. Though perhaps it's a better start than complete ignorance? who knows. I agree with the need to communicate science in a way that appeals to people. But I think it's better to do this by focusing on what makes it interesting, valuable and relevant (as opposed to entertaining or fun, although they aren't mutually exclusive).

    I think the assorted great communicators of science had large impacts on people, not because they entertained, but because they put things into context, and explained things clearly. They delved into the relationships and concepts weaving the connections to show 'the big picture', rather than merely discussing the various subjects as isolated cold, "facts", that probably seem meaningless to the average person. Their passion of these science communicators, for understanding the world, was also obvious, and I think passion rubs off on other people, as it did with my old science teacher and myself. I think people need intrinsic motivators to understand, it's not just about giving them a payoff for indulging in science through the means by which it is presented. Because sometimes, "the truth" may not seem 'pleasant' and the sheer complexity may seem very overwhelming. And also, because people should question every scientific discovery, conclusion, hypothesis, process they see.

    Science research isn't as explorative and wonderful as it seems from the outset. There's a lot of bureaucracy involved. I think there needs to be a whole social revolution before curiosity driven research and a real push for understanding the world becomes a priority (particularly a financial one). The people up the top need to be convinced, because until then, drawing bright and curious minds into the field (as various and expansive as it is) subsist without their true potential being tapped.
    Nearsification, sprinkles and Wulfyn thanked this post.

  11. #20

    I think movies. When science becomes entertaining, it also becomes a conversation topic. Eventually the kids will catch on.


     
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