January 3rd, 2009 at 10:48 pm (Events)
The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) has named 2009 the Year of Science. They have given each month of 2009 a theme - we will have to wait for November to celebrate chemistry. January’s theme is “the process and nature of science.”
I don’t really have much to say about this first theme. While it is certainly important for people to understand that science proposes testable theories, tests them, and revises its story in iterative fashion, I’d hate to think that focus on the process part might get in the way of sharing the wonderment-inspiring results part. I remember (without nostalgia) having to memorize the discrete steps of the scientific process in grade school. Did I follow these to the letter in my own research? Uh, of course not. So why make our third graders think science is about memorizing rather than exploring? I would have preferred the extra time to inoculate a few more petri dishes. Now *that* makes me nostalgic.
I noticed that the Year of Science agenda doesn’t include much science art, yet. I hope we can change that…
COPUS is a grassroots network of a variety of science research and education entities. Its mission is to increase public understanding of science. You can see all the monthly themes and a calendar of events on their website: http://www.yearofscience2009.org/