Friday, September 23, 2011

Science Museums, Not for Kids Only

Maggie KB over at Boing Boing always manages to worry about things I've never thought about much.

We graduate high school knowing that Issac Newton discovered gravity, the general anatomical location of our stomachs relative to our hearts, and what happens when a car travelling 30 miles per hour crashes into a brick wall. At some point, probably in grade school, somebody told us about the scientific method, but not how that actually plays out in the real world. We learn the basics. We memorize some charts.

And then we live our lives in a world where science is much more complicated, and constantly changing.

Of the emerging technologies that New Scientist believes will be vitally important during the next 30 years, not one is something I learned anything about in school. Synthetic biology, remote sensing, machine language translation, artificial intelligence, and, yes, nanobots. 
 Aside from improving science education in the schools, what is to be done for adults? We can look to two institutions, she says -- science journalism and science museums. Museums are the more trusted, but Maggie spends the bulk of her post writing about how museums fail adults. Worth a read!

1 comment:

Peter Hoh said...

Following the links within the link, and then rooting around some more, I discovered this post about exclamation points that I think you might enjoy.