The advocates of the new thinking in science education put great store by their emphasis on science education for the citizen, otherwise known as ‘scientific literacy’. But will turning off the Bunsen Burners and forcing students to focus on scientific issues and controversies encourage budding scientists, or put them off even more? In this provocative essay David Perks, head of physics at a London state secondary school, argues that attempts to make school science more popular by making it more ‘relevant’ are giving today’s students a watered-down science education that will not produce the scientists we need.
Science Editorial by Alan Leshner, Chief Executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, highlighting the need for scientists to engage with the public.
“… the notion of public engagement goes beyond public education. We must have a genuine dialogue with our fellow citizens about how we can approach their concerns and what specific scientific findings mean…”
Evaluating science communication projects
Evaluation can be the most dreaded part of a science communication project. The trick, explains Marina Joubert, is to recognise performance, develop skills and confidence, and enhance future efforts.
How journalism can hide the truth about science
The process of science is far less linear than the media’s image of a neat series of breakthroughs suggests. Elmien Wolvaardt describes how simplistic reporting can distort.
The Messenger project has produced new Guidelines for scientists on communicating with the media and also a Lay Person’s Guide. Both documents can be downloaded here.
The charity Sense About Science, which promotes the dissemination of good scientific information to the public, has assembled the wisdom of 16 leading researchers in a handy leaflet which it hopes will become a must-read for celebrities.
Science for Celebrities: a new leaflet aimed at famous people.
By Sarah Boseley, health editor of The Guardian:
Fifteen of the most important milestones on the road to modern medicine are identified today by the British Medical Journal. They range from vaccines to computers to the pill – and the journal is calling for readers to vote on which was the most significant. The 15 have been shortlisted from more than 100 nominated discoveries since the BMJ was launched in 1840. Anyone can log on to www.bmj.com and cast a vote.
Via Seed’s Daily Zeitgeist: Star Wars reimagined as a silent movie
A new web portal, Science Worlds: to encourage 16-19 year olds to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
There’s a new blog on science communication called Avventure Planetarie. It’s written in Italian.