Making science fun: ASAP Science videos should be on everyone’s weekly watch list

Making science fun: ASAP Science videos should be on everyone’s weekly watch list

Science, technology, engineering and math, aka STEM, are key areas of knowledge for the 21st century. Heck, they were key in the 20th century, too! Remember JFK and the moon challenge as well as his tribute to science on the 100th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences? Recent scientific advances have not only made international cooperation desirable, but they have made it essential. The ocean, the atmosphere, outer space, belong not to one nation or one ideology, but to all mankind, and as science carries out its tasks in the years ahead, it must enlist all its own disciplines, all nations prepared for the scientific quest, and all men capable of sympathizing with the scientific impulse. (emphasis added) How do we create an environment where science (my shorthand) is valued, where "all men" have an appreciation for science? Where denialism is a thing of the past? Because in today's…continue reading →

Memory and The Brain : More Is Easier

Did you know that mnemonic memory techniques are 2,500 years old? Their origin is a legend, passed along by Cicero. Greek poet Simonides (c.556-c.468 BC) demonstrated a feat of recall that jumpstarted the theory. He had attended a banquet, where he presented a poem. Afterwards, he went outside, which saved him when the roof collapsed, killing the other guests. Simonides was able to identify the bodies by using visual recall, who sat where during the banquet.  …continue reading →

America’s Rejection Of Evolution Reflected In Miss U.S.A. Pageant

The first live radio broadcast from a trial was the Scopes trial in 1925. John Scopes, a Tennessee high school biology teacher, was convicted of violating the Butler Act, which prohibited teaching evolution in schools. His trial highlighted the divide between science and fundamentalist (literalist) religion in the United States. Flash forward to 2011: only one contestant in the 2011 Miss U.S.A. pageant (out of 51) said that she believed in evolution ("I'm a big science geek") when asked if evolution should be taught in schools. That was Miss California, Alyssa Campanella, and she was crowned the winner on Sunday. Runner-up, Miss Tennessee, Ashley Elizabeth Durham, on evolution: "that's not my belief" although she said evolution should be taught in schools. Most contestants said that evolution should be taught alongside other points of view, like creationism (or "Biblical stuff"). It is almost a full century after Scopes and 202 years after Darwin's birth, yet evolution remains controversial here,…continue reading →
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