Monday, June 2, 2008

An Inspiring Science Read

This came to me courtesy of Lorraine, who frequently comments here but refuses to be lured into creating her own blog.

Put a Little Science in Your Life

It's a fantastic op-ed piece that communicates the wonder many people feel when they think about and get involved in science.

But here’s the thing. The reason science really matters runs deeper still. Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that’s precise, predictive and reliable — a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it, that is empowering and emotional. To be able to think through and grasp explanations — for everything from why the sky is blue to how life formed on earth — not because they are declared dogma but rather because they reveal patterns confirmed by experiment and observation, is one of the most precious of human experiences


If science isn’t your strong suit — and for many it’s not — this side of science is something you may have rarely if ever experienced. I’ve spoken with so many people over the years whose encounters with science in school left them thinking of it as cold, distant and intimidating. They happily use the innovations that science makes possible, but feel that the science itself is just not relevant to their lives. What a shame.

Like a life without music, art or literature, a life without science is bereft of something that gives experience a rich and otherwise inaccessible dimension.

The night sky is inspiring enough but to look up at it and realize you are looking back in time? To wonder at the fact that every time you blink you've defeated the incredibly weak force of gravity and yet it's the force that holds our universe together? To drink a glass of water and know that one element in a water molecule is as old as the universe? To have a cold and understand that means your body is now an epic battlefield between defenders and invaders? To know that there's a lab on earth right now where humans are replicating supernovas?


It's all so completely fantastic.

Go read the article, especially if you don't give science much thought or if it's doesn't really appeal to you. There's a lot of drop-jaw wonder and joy to be found in science and it's a real shame if you're missing out.

NOTE: I got carried away with the wonder of science and missed a very important point made in the article. I'm too lazy to write more right now but fortunately over at Homeschooling: A Family’s Journey the issue has been pointed out.


molytail said...

As every parent knows, children begin life as uninhibited, unabashed explorers of the unknown. From the time we can walk and talk, we want to know what things are and how they work — we begin life as little scientists. But most of us quickly lose our intrinsic scientific passion. And it’s a profound loss.

Y'know, I've often said things similar to this in convos with people, generally when talking about the education of kids, hs versus ps and such... I never said specifically "scientists" though - just more "curious" ....we're all curious, wanting to know about everything - and we often lose it....maybe not every scrap, but enough...


Interesting article... :-)

Nature Mama said...

Thanks for sharing this with us and linking to the other article as well. Very interesting read!

Anonymous said...

I have only ever wished I had a homeschool blog once... after reading that science article! It hit home in a big way with me, especially since Michael is Mr. Science. We are hugely into the universe around here these days thanks to him, and it's a logical step for us since we were hugely into the periodic table and molecules and atoms eight months ago. It all just blows my mind it's so amazing! Thanks for posting it.