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View Diary: Science Friday: Vegas Style (110 comments)

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  •  Along with education, (2+ / 0-)
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    DarkSyde, means are the ends

    What do we do to actually generate and interest in the sciences among the general public and with the young, in particular?

    Darksyde mentioned Sputnik... well, that was front-page for days or weeks, and it created a broad public discourse about science.  Then, and for a couple of years before, there were sponsored (no charge) traveling science expositions which drew huge crowds.  I remember one sponsored by the (then) Atomic Energy Commission, and another sponsored by General Motors.  They all generated interested in the public, inspired school-aged children.  GM and others even had programs for the asking ready for appearance at school assembly programs.

    Why were these important, the expositions and programs?  By being well funded and backed by people with expertise, they excelled what was possible in the high-school science fair entry.  They were real, and you could see it, or hear it, or feel it, or whatever.  They piqued the imagination of the young and turned it loose.  They, in a sense, opened up the world of 'anything is possible'.  They were designed for and geared toward sparking interest in science.

    Yes, I know there are conventions and such today, but they are not generally accessible to the broader public, and they are focused on accolytes rather than a broad audience.  To paraphrase an old saying, there is nothing to give one the sense of a bear so much as rubbing shoulders with it!

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 05:34:29 AM PDT

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