Re: US Science Education Sucks

From: Olga Bourlin (
Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 17:09:13 MDT

From: "Mike Lorrey" <>

> Olga Bourlin wrote:
> >
> > Good grief, what an insufferably elitist viewpoint. Understanding how
> > science works or being familiar with its macro-concepts is not beyond
> > intellectual skills of people who "pound nails all their lives." One
> > doesn't have to be a chemist in order to appreciate the integrity of the
> > scientific method. Scientists are not the only people with critical
> > thinking skills in our society. Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series did not
> > primarily to scientists. Science needs more and better PR, and
> > not the perpetuation of myths like "science is too complicated to
explain to
> > dumb-asses like y'all ..."
> Projecting again?

I don't recall projecting the first time, so I'm definitely not projecting
"again" (and what did I write that could be considered a projection?).

> I recall in high school physics, where of the 35 people in the room, the
> only two people that ever seemed to get the subject matter completely
> were the teacher and myself. Often I wound up trying to translate and
> analogize concepts for people when the teacher had exhausted their
> toolkit.

Admirable. But I was not saying lay people need to understand physics or
chemistry or any other branch of science the way people involved in those
subjects intimately would need to understand them.

> I don't think its impossible to teach nail pounders about science, but
> the vast majority of them *have absolutely no interest* in it. By the
> middle of high school, they are pretty much set on nail pounding as a
> career (or the equivalent) and are of the opinion that "I'll never use
> this in real life". So long as their pappy was able to make a go of life
> without an education, they really don't see a point in it.

I've learned that people who work for their leisure often have interesting
hidden talents and pastimes. They are not what they "do" - in fact, hardly
anyone is.


I've learned people are often not what they "do" in life, in

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