The mythology of science is just as valuable as the actual discoveries?

Votes are in for this one and I’m aware that it is also an ambiguous statement. My reason for asking it stems from the thought that we might be tempted to teach children anecdotes, reinforcing the popular myths littered in science, rather than focusing on the actual events and history of discoveries.

For instance, to quote Michael Stipe, “Newton got beaned by the apple good.” But is it true? We all expect to be true the story that Newton being hit on the head by a falling apple led to the recognition of the mechanisms of gravity. It’s what we were taught when we were little and we likely still believe it to be true. It seems that our trust was misplaced in this fact. Newton only started telling this story many years after the alledged event and just before his death. For longevity, it’s the sort myth Tolkien would have been proud of. Continue reading “The mythology of science is just as valuable as the actual discoveries?”

Poll: Television communicates science well?

Ok, so a 50:50 split between an ‘unsure’ and an ‘agree’. However, I’d call insufficient data to really consider it fair. Could have done with more votes.

I asked the question with the hope that I might get a range of views from scientists and those in the broadcasting business. Even so, I have to agree with the comment made which was balanced and ‘unsure’ but in a very considered way. Continue reading “Poll: Television communicates science well?”

Science Communicators and Universities

Universities are facing a new challenge. One not new to other institutions in the UK. During the early 1990’s the NHS went through a period of change where competition was introduced. Now it is the turn of higher education. The question is, can it be ready in time?

In 2012 undergraduate course fees are set to rise and more emphasis is going to be placed on the value a student expects from their chosen institution. Previously, students would balance their decision on two important aspects but with one common goal. In combination these would be, “Where is the best place I can go with the grades I’ve got?” Continue reading “Science Communicators and Universities”