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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; Originally Posted by Teigue That is a good question, I think maybe we would have to start at childhood and ...

  1. #21

    Quote Originally Posted by Teigue View Post
    That is a good question, I think maybe we would have to start at childhood and socialize children to be more appreciative of the sciences
    I agree.

    The best way to make anything become more valued in a society is to instill this idea in children at a young age. Of course there is a catch-22 since those who weren't taught to value it are the ones that are supposed to teach the children to do so. Probably the best way to do this is to put more value in education in general. Personally, I loved going to school and learning, but I'm pretty sure that there are more K-12 students that dislike going to school and don't have a passion for learning, which is sad. Perhaps it is lack of funding, or the parents aren't active enough, or the teachers don't express the importance of learning and how interesting, fun and exciting it can be... or maybe it is how much we let religion affect things here in the U.S. It's hard to say what the cause is, but if that could be altered then perhaps the education system will change, thus bringing about a society that values science more than we do now.
    noz, March Cat and ImminentThunder thanked this post.

  2. #22

    Quote Originally Posted by snail View Post
    I think the reason so many people get bored with science is that science is presented in a boring, impersonal way that makes it seem detached from anything meaningful or relevant. (By meaningful, in this context, I mean "that which relates to our interconnectedness" and by relevant, I mean "emotionally effective.") If it were presented differently, it might be more appealing.

    The reason reality shows are popular is that they deal with human relationships, human minds, human feelings, and human psychology. Some also incorporate elements of game theory, and involve strategy, but those aren't the aspects that interest most viewers. I tend to feel that people are more interesting than things, and if this is a common attitude, it could be part of the reason dry facts about such-and-such star system, which is such-and-such distance away would be extremely dull. It wouldn't relate to anything I cared about, even slightly. If there is a way to apply the understanding of scientific information to something social or interpersonal, even if it must be done symbolically, I think more people would start feeling something positive about it rather than finding it so tedious.
    I very much agree with this. I have loved science ever since I was a little boy, but despised it in school. I did a lot better in the humanities and ended up majoring in them. Why? Because the science classes were devoid of emotion and meaning (and this is coming from a Thinker). It was just a bunch of dryly presented facts and formulas taught by a bunch of passionless, practical teachers who only cared about how this stuff could be used in a concrete manner, and most of the people in the classes seemed to be ST guys who just wanted to get a high paying career in engineering. There was none of that awe and wonder I felt as a little kid and (thankfully) am rediscovering now, which is making me interested in Science again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Einstein View Post
    The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms -- this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness.
    Couldn't have said it better myself, Al.

    Science classes? Booooring. Science? AWESOME!

  3. #23

    You can't. The majority of people are lazy. People want results now. People don't want to go through various theories, variables, or whatever other nonsense that doesn't tickle their fancy.

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  5. #24

    how about higher ethical standards? there are lots of scientists who can't wait to fabricate study results for some company or another, as long as they get paid

    like here for example: India braced for fireworks over GM aubergine ban | Truth About Trade and Technology - Truth About Trade and Technology

    quote: One angry Filipino biotechnologist asked me: "Who asked the Indian government to consult farmers and NGOs about GM technology?"

    obviously that biotechnologist is a deranged sellout

    science needs ethics, currently there are no ethical standards for scientists, at least medical doctors have the hyppocratic oath
    possiBri thanked this post.

  6. #25

    Quote Originally Posted by The Proof View Post
    how about higher ethical standards? there are lots of scientists who can't wait to fabricate study results for some company or another, as long as they get paid

    like here for example: India braced for fireworks over GM aubergine ban | Truth About Trade and Technology - Truth About Trade and Technology

    quote: One angry Filipino biotechnologist asked me: "Who asked the Indian government to consult farmers and NGOs about GM technology?"

    obviously that biotechnologist is a deranged sellout

    science needs ethics, currently there are no ethical standards for scientists, at least medical doctors have the hyppocratic oath
    totally agree, but I don't think the general population is disinterested in science because it lacks ethics...
    possiBri thanked this post.

  7. #26

    The education system needs to promote science as an interesting and exciting field, not as the fact-bombarding, boring drivel a lot of schools make it out to be. I remember taking a chemistry and biology class in high school.
    The chemistry teacher really attempted to make the students enjoy the class, and he used real world situations where the things we were doing would apply. The end result: the students actually enjoyed the class! *GASP*
    Then I had Biology. The only thing we did in that class was memorize random facts, data tables, and vocabulary to the point where I wouldn't even know what I was talking about, but as long as I could regurgitate what I was told onto the test paper I was fine.

    Guess which class I liked more?
    possiBri thanked this post.

  8. #27

    Quote Originally Posted by snail View Post

    The reason reality shows are popular is that they deal with human relationships, human minds, human feelings, and human psychology. Some also incorporate elements of game theory, and involve strategy, but those aren't the aspects that interest most viewers. I tend to feel that people are more interesting than things, and if this is a common attitude, it could be part of the reason dry facts about such-and-such star system, which is such-and-such distance away would be extremely dull. It wouldn't relate to anything I cared about, even slightly. If there is a way to apply the understanding of scientific information to something social or interpersonal, even if it must be done symbolically, I think more people would start feeling something positive about it rather than finding it so tedious.
    Yes, the issue is that humans have evolved to care about what is immediately relevant to their survival. Group politics, which is what those shows are really about, have been more relevant to survival than speculating about why the heavenly bodies move as they do. People who are interested in science, like Plato, have always been the exception. Those who are interested have somehow slipped through the evolutionary cracks. The issue is not how to make science more interesting, but how to make people into the type of person that is interested in science. I think it is mainly inborn, but can be helped with upbringing--in the book Genius, a biography of Feynman by James Gleick, there is a description of the kind of upbringing Feynman (a physicist who won the Nobel prize) had. His father was always engaging in Q&A with him about the natural world, and encouraging him to find things out.

  9. #28

    well, aborting the idea that science is somehow contrary or mutually exclusive to God is a good start. Not even the "ever Backward" Islamic world has upheld the foolish idea that evolution and God cannot appear together in a logical sentence. Not sure where the hell we picked it up, either....

    Note to all science noobs - a mechanical cause is categorically different from a first cause. A Grand Creator and evolution can BOTH be true, there is nothing intrinsic to either that rules out the other. Saying otherwise turns science into a rock'em'soc'em robot against Jesus in the political arena. That's not what we ought to be doing.

    So, in other words, one big thing we can start doing is trying to explain the benefits of secular wisdom (sciencey stuff) to the religious fragments of our society, without trying to tell them their beliefs are stupid and "delusional". The fundamental reality of our situation is that large swaths of our population find the bible much more impressive than The Origin of Species and a general physics textbook. We should adapt to that, not set up ideology wars.
    KTC, Wulfyn and possiBri thanked this post.

  10. #29

    Quote Originally Posted by noz View Post
    well, aborting the idea that science is somehow contrary or mutually exclusive to God is a good start. Not even the "ever Backward" Islamic world has upheld the foolish idea that evolution and God cannot appear together in a logical sentence. Not sure where the hell we picked it up, either....

    Note to all science noobs - a mechanical cause is categorically different from a first cause. A Grand Creator and evolution can BOTH be true, there is nothing intrinsic to either that rules out the other. Saying otherwise turns science into a rock'em'soc'em robot against Jesus in the political arena. That's not what we ought to be doing.

    So, in other words, one big thing we can start doing is trying to explain the benefits of secular wisdom (sciencey stuff) to the religious fragments of our society, without trying to tell them their beliefs are stupid and "delusional". The fundamental reality of our situation is that large swaths of our population find the bible much more impressive than The Origin of Species and a general physics textbook. We should adapt to that, not set up ideology wars.
    I agree 100% and have been saying this for a while. It's refreshing to hear others share my opinion. But I think the biggest problem is the presentation of science is dry presentation and its somewhat inaccessible nature to the uninitiated. And (for me) scientists changing their minds about things so often it's hard for me to get excited about new research.

  11. #30

    I would guess, as has already been suggested, to show science's relevance to everyday real life. It might also help if scientific enterprises could actually open their doors once in awhile to allow kids a look inside. I got to do that in highschool, but now, with all of the security and trade secret worries, no way!

    Regarding entertainment value... I have hundreds of satellite TV channels. There is pretty much some sort of awesome documentary (not an oxymoron - many are quite fascinating) or scientific investigative show on every hour of the day. My kids LOVE that stuff, though mimicking what they saw on "MythBusters" or "Dirty Jobs" in the house has its drawbacks.

    In all seriousness, science was part of our day to day lives when I was growing up. My parents required that we do our own investigative thinking to seek answers to our limitless questions. I WANTED to be a scientist. My kids are already bonkers for the stuff, asking very relevant questions. Perhaps it's not the school's job to sell it, but home and society's in general?

    Or maybe it's the poor pay with a BS, and the prison sentence that grad school seems to many turning folks off to it?

    More questions than answers... typical scientist, sorry.


     
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