Grad Studies/Postdoctoral Training Available

David Longley David at
Wed May 17 05:51:49 EST 1995

In article <3page3$i26 at>
           v102nq9f at "COLLEEN M. SPECHT" writes:

> hi you guys,
> i want to remind all interested in this thread that it originated with a
> question regarding how one might go about educating the lay public about
> science.
> i did not mean in that post that we had to teach people *how* to be
> scientists, or teach them what scientists *do*.  rather i refer to how we can
> educate nonscientists a bit about the value of science, and perhaps somewhat
> of the process.
> colleen specht

I missed the first postings, and was just responding to the one about 'content'.
Sure, I agree, I see no reason  at  all why  scientific  method  should not be
explained, even to young children (the basics of it anyway). In fact, that does
seem to be what is happening in this country - ie secondary school children are
learning how to do 'research'. I wonder how far they really go  though.  To  do
genuine scientific research requires years of training in any field,  which  is
of course, what the PhD is all about.

I agree with your diagnosis of the problem, but I find it difficult enough to
get postgraduate psychologists to adopt a scientific approach. As I have said
elsewhere, the approach requires a degree of discipline, restraint from 'gap-
filling', and a passion for truth and clarity which most people seem to just
equate with pedantry. It's just not 'sexy' to be a scientist.

I think the only way out of the problem is to *pay* scientists, both applied
and academic, and teachers far better than we  currently do. That's the only
way I know of getting people to value such folk. 
David Longley

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