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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  January 2009

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE January 2009

Subject:

Re: Science and Education January 2009 issue of Science

From:

Charles Schwartz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 14:24:50 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (976 lines)

responding to Larry's latest response to Herb's earlier:

For information on Federal expenditures for science and technology,  
showing military and other components, the AAAS provides a wealth of 
data.  Here are two up-to-date sites:

http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/upd908.htm

http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/dod09c.htm

Of course, it takes some time to study, absorb and interpret this data.  
And then: How and to whom do you distribute that?

Here is an example of such an attempt from twenty years ago: 
http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~schwrtz/PhysBklt.html 
<http://socrates.berkeley.edu/%7Eschwrtz/PhysBklt.html>

Yes, there is plenty of good work that can be done to educate all our 
students (and teachers).

Charlie

Larry Romsted wrote:
> All:
>
> I have sent two emails as follow-ups to one written by Herb Fox 
> several weeks ago on January 4, 2009.  Herb’s last paragraph read (I 
> hope my highlighting in red comes through):
>
> "I believe the problem is more fundamental: Why should physicists and 
> electronic engineers have to do this kind of science against humanity? 
>   Cannot scientific whores find more benign Johns to fund their 
> pleasures in research and invention?  Certainly we should be 
> bombarding the Obama website with requests that science for people be 
> funded as opposed to science for warfare. *To do this coherently i 
> suggest that we construct a list of science for people projects or 
> research topics deserving of funding.  We can do this on this list.* 
> In the meantime can someone provide references to data on to what 
> extent the scientific community is funded by the military?"
>
>
> I did a quick search for military science funding online, but found 
> nothing useful.
>
> I made two suggestions in two separate emails reproduced below (the 
> emails included other stuff) in response to Herb’s idea about research 
> topics.  The proposal parts are reproduced below as Projects one and 
> two.   I thought these topics were potentially good ones for 
> scientists and people who care about science and were also socialists. 
>  My second topic on education and technology from the Science issue 
> only got responses about words and the first topic produced a response 
> from Maurice about how I might feel “pinched” or something like that 
> concerning my own research travails.  Good word.  Made me smile.
>
> So, to reiterate:
>
> *Project one*:  Protecting the environment for the people (and the 
> quality of their lives) means that cars must be made obsolete ASAP 
> (decades probably).  A people centered publicly financed mass transit 
> system is needed, here and everywhere on the globe.  This requires a
> new way of thinking about the organization of society (which is maybe 
> why short range thinking politicians seldom talk about it) and the 
> initiation of a long term public investment and planning (market 
> forces will never get there, duh).  Funding for such large scale/long 
> term projects should come from cuts in current military budgets and 
> new public mass transit companies and public investment in research 
> should explore all kinds of alternatives for transit.  Some of this 
> happens now, but much is focused on making a better car.  Might even 
> require redoing the transit system in some section of the country as 
> an experiment just to test the ideas.
>
> *Project two*:  I made the following points about the articles in 
> Science in my email of 1/10/09.  “They are about using technology to 
> improve teaching and education, but they are not about using 
> technology to really empower people.  They do not discuss using 
> technology to teach people about relationships between race and 
> education, between income and education, or about providing low income 
> and inner city people and their children the resources they need to 
> empower themselves.  How could modern technology be use to build 
> unions, for example?  Interestingly, lots of pictures of people 
> accompanying the articles, not one picture of an African-American or 
> African. (Nothing about Africa.)  Mostly whites and some Asians. (Few 
> black people read Science anyway, why worry.)  You would not know 
> there are social classes in the US from reading the articles.”
>
> Are these worth pursuing?  I am not expert in either, but can probably 
> learn.
>
> Larry
>  
>
> On 1/12/09 2:26 PM, "mart" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> >> special issue mainly because I feel no need to defend the
> >> journal.
> >
> >    what about mindless patriotism?
> >
> >
> > I think
> >> that we, especially the writers for the news department,
> >> publish a lot of
> >> good stuff and much that takes a critical look at what goes
> >> in
> >> science--although generally, of course, with the viewpoint
> >> that supporting
> >> science is a "good thing"--while I sometimes
> >> agree and sometimes don't with
> >> the Perspectives and other editorial material.
> >
> >
> > i think its fine or adequate (the first part) but you can get the 
> same kind of
> > stuff on science blogs, in sciam, sci news, sci daily, and academic 
> blogs  
> > etc.  you may 'miss something' but the same pricniple applies 
> everywhere.  i
> > rarely read science any more.  (if they are promoting technology for
> > education, i guess thats popular---any interest in sci i have is 
> mostly math
> > applications (without simulations) so its not for me.  i do think the
> > simulations stuff tends towards conveniant GIGO.
> >    among the best sci issues i remember was one on israel /palestinian
> > collaboration on things like water conservation, species preservation,
> > sustainable ag.   (thats what those people over there might be 
> thinking about
> > more than all the symbolic things---for the 'anarchist' version see 
> the blog
> > 'anarchy alive' by uri gordon, who works on a 'green' project (which 
> doesn't
> > have much to do with anarchy any more than anything else does.)) 
>  among the
> > worst was the 'obesity' issue about 5 years ago which had numerous 
> articles on
> > 'the genes' and only in the introduction had a throway line about 
> 'maybe the
> > environment and diet and junk food industry may have some 
> involvement---but we
> > won't go there.'   the one on depression was up there too. the 
> research is
> > geared towards molec bio so anything i am interested in thats gets in 
> there
> > already has 5 or  10 versions elsewhere for the past 10 years.  its 
> almost a
> > disservice .  (sciam is more relevant when i last
> >  looked.)
> >>
> >> But as much as I am [sometimes] entertained by mart's
> >> posts, he and others
> >> seem to be mainly engaged in a lot of self-righteous
> >> sniping about the
> >> nature of science but doing very little to change how it is
> >> done.
> >    course, you may not know exactly everything i do.
> >
> > it is so
> >> easy to preach to lists like this and so hard to actually
> >> make differences
> >> in the real word, I know, but as long as progressive
> >> science-oriented folks
> >> are whining on the sidelines nothing will change.
> >
> >   'whining' may be hard to define, or 'relativistic'. i wonder if you 
> wouldf
> > call critiques of the music industry and the status quo by Public E 
> nemy or
> > Dead Prez 'whining', and from the sidelines if they aren't on FOX news?
> >     didnt the famopus topologist john stewart argue that the conflict 
> is like
> > a mobiius strip?
> >     
> >
> >
> > And in
> >> fact, there are
> >> many scientists out there with social consciences, and many
> >> of the writers
> >> and editors of Science have social consciences too.
> >
> >    my inpression is there is no consensus that consiounsess, and 
> conscience,  
> > exist, individually or socially.
> >    i wonder if there is a science on how conscience develops?  hi-tech
> > obediance to authority via taser?
> >    i am aware many reasonable people write/wiork there , and do tend to
> > ovegeneralize; partly that is because the scientists who do get alot 
> of press
> > are also the worst (eg Fred Goodwin who was on NPR; and Talk of the 
> Nation
> > Science Friday also has a tendency to emphasize people like that. 
>   TON also
> > emphasizes the 'gee whiz' brand of science (outer spcae) which gets 
> popular
> > support, and may trickle down, but is not really critical.  It leads 
> to the
> > startified view that science, like govwerning, is for an elite 
> meritocracy of
> > professionals.   Half of what science involves problably most peopled 
> could be
> > a part of, like governing.).  
> >
> >  
> > Why not
> >> write a letter
> >> to the editor of Science and try to get it published, mart,
> >> which would be a
> >> better use of your time than the thousands of words and the
> >> many hours you
> >> have spent regaling us with your wisdom on this list?
> >
> > I mentioned the Hunanistic math network.  I would have rather 
> published there.
> > That was inside, and what did they accomplish---a little.  Can you 
> prove that
> > my using my time time to write a letter would be better than trying 
> to set up
> > an alternative?  In  fact if I was going to do the letter thing, 
> maybe I'd
> > create a petition for people to do like other people have done 
> (especially in
> > math) and get people to stop publishing in  the money driven journals 
> until  
> > they reform, and maybe go the PLOS route.  One could do similar 
> things, and
> > run corporate funders of reserarch off campus.  
> >    
> >   I googled the Sci editorial, and came up with a math/sci edcucation 
> group
> > touting it; who are they in partnership with promoting good science 
> education?  
> > Exxon.  I did think the Exxon materials rebutting global warming were 
> quite
> > good.   (The National Center for science education (i think its 
> called) was
> > using Exxon's stuff too until they got called on it.)
> >     who really has the time to save every rat from drowning?
> >   
> >    Larry who has a PhD and even tenure, did suggest a letter or 
> equivalent.   
> > I'd think a group statement or letter by people with similar 
> credentials might
> > be a good idea.  science does publish cranks and citizens at times 
> but they
> > are like calls to CSPAN.  (they also publish anti-big bang and global 
> warming
> > stuff by dissident professors, so its kindubh like scienceblogs.)
> >
> > Or
> >> are you so sure
> >> that the big bad scientific establishment journal will be
> >> so threatened by
> >> what you might have to say that it would not dare to
> >> publish it?
> >
> >     like atlas, i just shrug.
> >
> >>
> >> MB
> >>
> >> On Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 7:44 AM, mart
> >> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >>>> not  hard to imagine
> >>>> scientists (like Koshland, if it was him)
> >> proposing to fix
> >>>> social problems
> >>>> by fixing peoples' chemistry.
> >>>
> >>> sometimes they are just grasping at straws to get
> >> funding---pay the
> >>> electrcity bill for my streetlight and i'll find
> >> what you're missing.
> >>>
> >>> For me meritocracies are
> >>>> a shame in a class
> >>>> based society for keeping the social structure
> >> unchanged.
> >>>
> >>> i assume you meant to insert between 'shame'
> >> and 'in' , some thing like
> >>> 'which are used' .
> >>>   this is also my 'hypothesis' and i think it
> >> extends to education,
> >>> especially science. its taught in a way often  to
> >> essentially predetermine
> >>> in advance who gets through, via very subtle cues.
> >> essentially alot of
> >>> people who are outside the status quo are bored to
> >> death and see no
> >>> motivation for learning what is presented.  (i
> >> remember when i took organic
> >>> chem (which i liked, except the labs) the big deal was
> >> an authentic
> >>> researcher who came to show how we could use our
> >> knoweldge to get jobs
> >>> making nail polish.  synthetic heroin seemed  a better
> >> idea than that since
> >>> bettering society was off the table.)
> >>>    while science/math is pretty strict about rules to
> >> follow and basic
> >>> facts you need to know, i think the selection of
> >> topics is such as to weed
> >>> out (and social stratify) people almost at the
> >> beginning.  (i do think its
> >>> slowly changing).  as an analogy it would be like
> >> asking a jazz/hip hop/
> >>> rock musician to first master mozart before they are
> >> permitted to play
> >>> music; it won't happen. the assumption is there is
> >> basically one fairly
> >>> narrow science, and  path to it.  (in nonclassical
> >> music, alot of people
> >>> actually learn the more classical forms to some extent
> >> later once they have
> >>> a reason.) also, the net result of the science itself
> >> presertves the status
> >>> quo---'financial physics'; computers for
> >> speeding up walmart and junk food
> >>> and lotto sales...  Science is used to dumb people
> >> down, so they can be used
> >>> to justify buying surveillance technology, etc.
> >> (created at places like
> >>> MIT).  A different kind of science might try to avoid
> >> this profitable and
> >>> abusive
> >>>  caste system.  (of course people adapt, so now some
> >> people like it; eg
> >>> gangsta rap, ...)
> >>>    you point this out.
> >>>    but, people who do things like 'financial
> >> physics' i think are
> >>> threatened by the thought of having competing brands,
> >> just as talk radio and
> >>> the music industry is worried about having it known
> >> there may be there
> >>>  valid alternatives.  they prefer keeping their own
> >> little monopolistic
> >>> fiefdoms, and to pass them off as if they are uniquely
> >> stable 'general
> >>> equilibria'.
> >>>    a bunch of military types i think are like
> >> this---they enjoy making
> >>> bombs, so need a warfare state. they can justify it
> >> ideologically too (its
> >>> natural.)
> >>>
> >>>   as an alternative, for example, there was a
> >> 'humanistic math association'
> >>> quite awhile back out of harvey mudd college (which
> >> lasted about a year i
> >>> think---they still have web stuff) which attempted a
> >> more relevant
> >>> curriculum for people outside the 'dominant
> >> paradigm'.  i think this was
> >>> discouraged.  it wasnt that radical.  (i heard there
> >> was something like that
> >>> in harlem at high school level a couple of years ago.)
> >>>      its funny that in middle schools and even
> >> elementary kids learn
> >>> economics via the 'stock market game' while in
> >> graduate school they study
> >>> attitudes towards 'fairness' in children.
> >> that summarizes it.  you don't
> >>> ask people, teach them, or have them explicitly think
> >> about the question
> >>> unless they are in a PhD program at MIT or UC in econ.
> >>  and at a younger age
> >>> they need to study investing in mcdonald's, etc.
> >>>    (and in that environment, a fair number drop out
> >> rather than 'compete'.
> >>>   also, if its dawg eat dawg, might as well join the
> >> crips.)
> >>>
> >>>>
> >>>> What I was thinking about what using Alberts'
> >> apparent
> >>>> sense of "rage"
> >>>> (toward the bottom of the editorial) and his
> >> proposal to
> >>>> have a monthly
> >>>> educational forum to propose radical analyses of
> >> the
> >>>> current state US
> >>>> society and its education system.  Good idea?  I
> >> do not
> >>>> have much experience
> >>>> at this type of analysis.
> >>>
> >>> yeah, sure anything is a good idea.  the quantitative
> >> question might be
> >>> 'how good'.     i could see a new 500$M dept
> >> creating an assessment of how
> >>> good.
> >>>    i would say calling it 'radical' may just
> >> give people a reason to ignore
> >>> it (try something moderate like the Rev. Wright/Bill
> >>> Ayers/Farrakhan/Stalin/Manson/purpose driven life
> >> critque of education
> >>> standards).  another problem is some critiques simply
> >> become 'in-house'
> >>> things (as chomsky has said about protests and
> >> dissent---they merely provide
> >>> cover for   the lack of dissent).  i sometimes see
> >> this in bioethics, when
> >>> some critique is made of nano or biotech or pharma,
> >> they bring in some
> >>> philosopher who knows very little about science or
> >> economics, or anything at
> >>> all it can appear, and simply goes 'on the one
> >> hand progress may be good and
> >>> inevitable, and on the other hand there may be a
> >> caveat and if you give
> >>> me/my department 500G i'll shut up and sign on the
> >> dotted line and write
> >>> something on it for world scientific to sell'.   
> >> i worry this 'forum' is
> >>> like that---'oh, yeah, we had the critique'.
> >>>
> >>> science mag is so connected to biotech alot of the
> >> rage i hear from there
> >>> is like what you hear from NIH---people have come to
> >> expect an ever
> >>> increasing pool of money and talent trained to pursue
> >> their interests. if
> >>> science mag was going to look at exactly how many of
> >> the expensive drug
> >>> cures they promote, and things like GM crops (for say,
> >> corn syrup), can be
> >>> replaced by other things, then  the 'rage'
> >> over lack of
> >>> edcucation/miseducation might be real.  i heard
> >> NPR's science friday last
> >>> wek and they had on new drug cures for type 2 diabetes
> >> when there is good
> >>> evidence diet is the real issue.  (but the diet
> >> approach lowers spending on
> >>> drugs.  i dont think this was even mentioned. they are
> >> too often just
> >>> (probably greedy)  shills.)  even the
> >> 'anti-creationist' stuff too often
> >>> sounds like 'why do they get a humvee and
> >> megachurch for teaching a 2000
> >>> year old book when i should get it for my own pet
> >> theory?'
> >>>
> >>> maybe one needs  beyond a science of education, a
> >> science of science, to
> >>> see if it makes sense from concept to application.
> >>>
> >>> to me the big problem in science is noone really knows
> >> what it is for, and
> >>> hecne there is no way to define what an educated
> >> person in it is.  should
> >>> everyone have a phD in everything?  should some people
> >> just aim to sweep the
> >>> lab? the blog mathematics under the microscope has a
> >> few discussions along
> >>> this line (pointing out in a math saturated society
> >> (via computers) like 99%
> >>> of the people dont even need calculus).  (i did
> >> implicitly  criticize the
> >>> guy for accepting templeton money----though
> >> 'spritual capitalism' may have
> >>> something to it.   templeton seems to have a ton of
> >> famous scientists in its
> >>> stable.)  do people need to have some literacy, etc?
> >>>    technology alters the picture even more---you can
> >> almost write math abnd
> >>> physics papers using mathematica and the like.  if
> >> this merans work can be
> >>> replaced by automation, cool.  but more likely its
> >> just going to be
> >>> stratified.  one will still have the long haul truck
> >> drivers, while others
> >>> just use canned software.
> >>>
> >>>    (i actually think maybe everyone should aim for
> >> having some sort of
> >>> research hobby/collaboration, in the same way everyone
> >> may vote or go to
> >>> some sort of community planning meeting. or at least
> >> explore the idea.
> >>>  current science seems to me sometimes overly
> >> 'fascistic', meaning basically
> >>> only certain  'important' status quo ideas
> >> really get developed.    )
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> what really gets me about that editorial now is the
> >> idea they are going to
> >>> 'bring in leading experts' to solve the
> >> problem.  in my view, commomnly
> >>> these are the exact same experts who have caused the
> >> crisis in the first
> >>> place.  they get one salary causing the problem
> >> (essentially running out
> >>> anyone who doesn't fit their stereotype of who
> >> they approve of) and then
> >>> they want another, with a bonus, solving the problem
> >> they caused.  plus, a
> >>> ton of conferneces. alot of those experts also
> >> basically are 'management
> >>> consultants' and people with business degrees
> >> (like bush) who really just
> >>> know how to push people around.   it does trickle down
> >> to some extent
> >>> (Obama!) but there seems to be alot of inertia and
> >> stalling.
> >>>   my view is try paying some of the people who know
> >> more about the problems
> >>> to see if they might have a clue.  (the idea of Fryer
> >> at harvard of paying
> >>> people to go to school, etc.. , and of mexico
> >> city/bloomberg NYC to pay them
> >>> to get a library card and go to PTA , i think are ok
> >> in present reality,
> >>> though i dought the incentive is enough to make much
> >> of a difference---some
> >>> people dont even bother with food stamps or eitc.
> >> actually getting out of
> >>> cash economy into more barter/community building is a
> >> better idea.)
> >>>>
> >>>> Larry > >> Froman editorial by Bruce
> >> Alberts,
> >>>>>>> lip service and
> >>>>>> borders on hypocrisy because neither the
> >> editor or
> >>>> any of
> >>>>>> the articles are
> >>>>>> set in the social-political context of
> >> the current
> >>>> school
> >>>>>> system.
> >>>
> >>>    what i'd  imagine.
> >>>
> >>> I have
> >>>>>> looked through the articles, but not
> >> read them
> >>>> all.  They
> >>>>>> are about using
> >>>>>> technology to improve teaching and
> >> education, but
> >>>> they are
> >>>>>> not about using
> >>>>>> technology to really empower people.
> >> They do not
> >>>> discuss
> >>>>>> using technology
> >>>>>> to teach people about relationships
> >> between race
> >>>> and
> >>>>>> education, between
> >>>>>> income and education, or about providing
> >> low
> >>>> income and
> >>>>>> inner city people
> >>>>>> and their children the resources they
> >> need to
> >>>> empower
> >>>>>> themselves.  How could
> >>>>>> modern technology be use to build
> >> unions, for
> >>>> example?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>    the humaniostic math thing i mentioned had a
> >>> (very few) things on stuff like this (as opposed to
> >> say, compound interest
> >>> or projectile motion which are the standards.)
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>>> Interestingly, lots
> >>>>>> of pictures of people accompanying the
> >> articles,
> >>>> not one
> >>>>>> picture of an
> >>>>>> African-American or African. (Nothing
> >> about
> >>>> Africa.)
> >>>>>> Mostly whites and some
> >>>>>> Asians. (Few black people read Science
> >> anyway, why
> >>>> worry.)
> >>>>>> You would not
> >>>>>> know there are social classes in the US
> >> from
> >>>> reading the
> >>>>>> articles.
> >>>
> >>>    science sometimes does the pc thing. its
> >> interesting they forgot this
> >>> time---a slip up!   or they find a clarence thomas
> >> type.  or that book 'time
> >>> on the cross' by that UC econ noble
> >> laureate---slaves actually got above
> >>> minimum wage for their era, which implies nobody owes
> >> anybody anything.
> >>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> I think these articles are basically
> >> about
> >>>> developing
> >>>>>> technology to create
> >>>>>> an elite group of people to run society
> >> and
> >>>> another
> >>>>>> specially trained set to
> >>>>>> fight its battles.
> >>>
> >>>    this idea is fairly common implicitly or
> >> explicitly; it changes over
> >>> time in format.  of course you do get
> >> 'countervailing power', so there are
> >>> equivalent hierarchies outside the mainstream ones
> >> (most obvious in things
> >>> like criminal gangs).
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> One article on how the DOD has
> >>>> made
> >>>>>> contributions to the
> >>>>>> use of computers in training (see p. 72.
> >>>> ³Education and
> >>>>>> Training Technology
> >>>>>> in the Military.²)
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> I quote several sentences from the third
> >> paragraph
> >>>> of that
> >>>>>> article.  The
> >>>>>> sentences are one of the most antiseptic
> >>>> descriptions of
> >>>>>> the military I have
> >>>>>> ever read:  ³For military
> >> organizations, both
> >>>> education
> >>>>>> and training are
> >>>>>> means to an end.  Efficiency (time and
> >> resources
> >>>> expended)
> >>>>>> and effectiveness
> >>>>>> (Production of human competence) are
> >> critical.
> >>>> Military
> >>>>>> organizations have
> >>>>>> historically turned to technology to
> >> maximize the
> >>>>>> efficiency and
> >>>>>> effectiveness of all their activities,
> >> training
> >>>> and
> >>>>>> education included.²
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Fits Hamas or the Iraqi insurgency
> >>>> perfectly‹not!
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> i note military people are going to cogntition
> >> /linguistic oncferences now,
> >>> discussing what types of language might characterize
> >> an effective military.
> >>>   chomsky may attends some of those same ones too.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> I think this issue of Science requires a
> >> radical
> >>>> (meaning
> >>>>>> root cause, of
> >>>>>> course) response.  There is an opening
> >> in the
> >>>> editorial for
> >>>>>> a such a
> >>>>>> contribution: ³Thus, we will be
> >> publishing
> >>>> important work
> >>>>>> in education as
> >>>>>> Perspectives, Policy Forums, Reviews, or
> >> as
> >>>> original
> >>>>>> Research Reports and
> >>>>>> Articles, while continuing to cover
> >> education in
> >>>> the News
> >>>>>> section.²
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> I am not well equipped to do this (a
> >> chemist after
> >>>> all).
> >>>>>> Nevertheless, I
> >>>>>> would be interesting in contributing.
> >> Good idea?
> >>>
> >>>      it seems you have the main points.  the problem
> >> with science is that
> >>> its fungible---chemistry can be used for m/any things.
> >>>       one would like a response that would not get
> >> mostly ignored.
> >>>       (e.g. take this seriously, or we'll go free
> >> access.)
> >>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Larry
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> www.sciencemag.org SCIENCE VOL 323 2
> >> JANUARY 2009
> >>>> 15
> >>>>>> CREDITS (TOP TO BOTTOM): TOM KOCHEL;
> >> JUPITERIMAGES
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> EDITORIAL
> >>>>>> Making a Science of Education
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> First.  FOR SUCCESS IN AN INCREASINGLY
> >> COMPLEX,
> >>>> CROWDED,
> >>>>>> AND DANGEROUS
> >>>>>> WORLD, A NATION must strive to be a
> >> meritocracy:
> >>>> Its
> >>>>>> education and social
> >>>>>> systems should be structured to select
> >> those with
> >>>> the most
> >>>>>> talent, energy,
> >>>>>> wisdom, and character as the next
> >> generation of
> >>>> leaders for
> >>>>>> each segment of
> >>>>>> society.   Second.  When I was young, I
> >> was taught
> >>>> that
> >>>>>> providing equal
> >>>>>> opportunities for
> >>>>>> everyone was a matter of social
> >> justice‹part of
> >>>> the
> >>>>>> social contract in the
> >>>>>> United States. Now, I believe that it is
> >> also a
> >>>> matter of
> >>>>>> national survival.
> >>>>>> Any country that fails to encourage and
> >> develop
> >>>> the talent
> >>>>>> in each
> >>>>>> individual through its public school
> >> system will
> >>>> suffer
> >>>>>> greatly, because the
> >>>>>> quality of a nation depends on the
> >> collective
> >>>> wisdom of
> >>>>>> both its leaders and
> >>>>>> its citizens.  An outstanding education
> >> system
> >>>> imparts
> >>>>>> values that support
> >>>>>> good citizenship, while empowering
> >> adults to be
> >>>> life-long
> >>>>>> learners and
> >>>>>> problem solvers who can make wise
> >> decisions for
> >>>> their
> >>>>>> families, for their
> >>>>>> communities, and for their workplaces.
> >> Such an
> >>>> education
> >>>>>> system must
> >>>>>> continually evolve to remain relevant to
> >> the
> >>>> interests and
> >>>>>> needs of each new
> >>>>>> generation. To achieve these ambitious
> >> goals, we
> >>>> will need
> >>>>>> much more
> >>>>>> emphasis on both science education and
> >> the
> >>>> ³science of
> >>>>>> education.² It is my
> >>>>>> hope that Science can help to promote
> >> progress on
> >>>> both
> >>>>>> scores.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>      In 2006, Science began a monthly
> >> Education
> >>>> Forum. We
> >>>>>> now plan to build
> >>>>>> on this strong beginning by recruiting
> >>>> high-quality
> >>>>>> articles
> >>>>>> on education from the world¹s best
> >> experts for
> >>>> every
> >>>>>> section of the
> >>>>>> magazine. Thus, we will be publishing
> >> important
> >>>> work in
> >>>>>> education
> >>>>>> as Perspectives, Policy Forums, Reviews,
> >> or as
> >>>> original
> >>>>>> Research Reports and
> >>>>>> Articles, while continuing to cover
> >> education in
> >>>> the
> >>>>>> News section. This first issue of 2009,
> >> with its
> >>>> focus on
> >>>>>> Education and
> >>>>>> Technology (see page 53), represents a
> >> start that
> >>>> will
> >>>>>> hopefully
> >>>>>> inspire many more articles to come.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> As this special issue explains, the
> >> computer and
> >>>>>> communication technologies
> >>>>>> that have profoundly altered many other
> >> aspects of
> >>>> our
> >>>>>> lives seem to hold
> >>>>>> great promise for improving education as
> >> well. But
> >>>>>> technology is only a
> >>>>>> tool. To fulfill its promise for
> >> education will
> >>>> require a
> >>>>>> great deal of
> >>>>>> high-quality research, focused on its
> >> utilization
> >>>> and
> >>>>>> effects in both school
> >>>>>> and nonschool settings. Only by
> >> collecting and
> >>>> analyzing
> >>>>>> data on student
> >>>>>> learning can we hope to sort out the
> >> many
> >>>> variables that
> >>>>>> determine
> >>>>>> effectiveness.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>      The same type of scientific
> >> research is also
> >>>> needed to
> >>>>>> explore,
> >>>>>> analyze, and improve each of the many
> >> other
> >>>> components of
> >>>>>> educational
> >>>>>> systems. For example, the most important
> >> element
> >>>> of any
> >>>>>> education system is
> >>>>>> a highly skilled teacher. Teacher
> >> recruitment,
> >>>> preparation,
> >>>>>> retention, and
> >>>>>> professional development all need to be
> >> informed
> >>>> by
> >>>>>> scientific research in
> >>>>>> education.  Curricula, pedagogy,
> >> assessment, and
> >>>> school
> >>>>>> system management
> >>>>>> similarly require focused research. We
> >> hope that
> >>>> what
> >>>>>> scientists are
> >>>>>> learning about each of these important
> >> aspects of
> >>>> education
> >>>>>> will be reported
> >>>>>> and reviewed in Science.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>      Research in the social sciences is
> >> especially
> >>>>>> challenging because of
> >>>>>> the conditionality of its findings: The
> >> effects of
> >>>> an
> >>>>>> intervention are
> >>>>>> likely to depend on many variables that
> >> need to be
> >>>> studied
> >>>>>> and understood.
> >>>>>> Some readers may therefore question
> >> whether the
> >>>> science of
> >>>>>> education
> >>>>>> deserves a prominent place in this
> >> prestigious
> >>>> journal. For
> >>>>>> them, I offer
> >>>>>> the wisdom of Alfred North Whitehead,
> >> who wrote 80
> >>>> years
> >>>>>> ago: ³The art of
> >>>>>> education is never easy. To surmount its
> >>>> difficulties,
> >>>>>> especially those of
> >>>>>> elementary education, is a task worthy
> >> of the
> >>>> highest
> >>>>>> genius.² [But] ³when
> >>>>>> one considersŠthe importance of this
> >> question of
> >>>> the
> >>>>>> education of a nation¹s
> >>>>>> young, the broken lives, the defeated
> >> hopes, the
> >>>> national
> >>>>>> failures, which
> >>>>>> result from the frivolous inertia with
> >> which it is
> >>>> treated,
> >>>>>> it is difficult
> >>>>>> to restrain within oneself a savage
> >> rage. In the
> >>>> conditions
> >>>>>> of modern life
> >>>>>> the rule is absolute, [a country] that
> >> does not
> >>>> value
> >>>>>> trained intelligence
> >>>>>> is doomed.²
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>     The sense of rage is every bit as
> >> appropriate
> >>>> today.
> >>>>>> But we now
> >>>>>> recognize that we must look at the
> >> ³art² of
> >>>> education
> >>>>>> through the critical
> >>>>>> lens of science if we are to survive.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> ­Bruce Alberts
> >>>>>> 10.1126/science.1169941
> >>>>>> Bruce Alberts is the Editor-in-Chief of
> >> Science.
> >>>>>> Published by AAAS
> >>>>>> Downloaded from www.sciencemag.org on
> >> January 10,
> >>>> 2009
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> ******************************************
> >> Michael Balter
> >> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> >> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> >> Boston University
> >>
> >> Email:           [log in to unmask]
> >>
> >> Website:       michaelbalter.com
> >> Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com
> >> ******************************************
> >
> >
> >

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