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Why Science Education is Essential for Democracy

    10/31/16     The current election cycle scares me in ways that I have never felt before. It is not so much the hatred and lies that Donald Trump spews regularly, but the potential for sanctioned violence and irrationality from my fellow citizens. History and morality demand vigorous challenge. My realm is science […]

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Who Is In Our Circle of Respect?

Who is in our circle of respect?   …. We are at a historic inflection point. On the one hand, ascendant racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-intellectualism harkens back to darker times. On the other, addressing inequity is at the center of the current election cycle. We elected an African-American president twice and the Democratic candidates are a woman and a Democratic-Socialist Jew. […]

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Let’s Talk About Values, Beliefs and Evidence

In August 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Seventy years later, the President Obama is imploring Congress to approve a deal to dissuade Iran from building a nuclear bomb. This is an opportune moment to reflect on the intersection of science, technology and human values. It is a […]

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What the Future of Science Education Should Look Like

 While we remain the world’s leading generator of science and engineering innovation, far too many Americans lack sufficient understanding of the foundational principles of the scientific investigations and engineering designs that have improved our lives…We are not now on a pathway to success, but we could be. Published in the Washington Post, April 20, 2015. […]

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Next Steps for the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Research Council’s K-12 Framework for Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards are designed to drive dramatic rethinking and improvement of science education for all students in the United States. Now decisions at the district, state, and federal levels will determine whether the new standards will promote substantive improvement…..Five other state actions will enable […]

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Arguing for Science Literacy

Students who are scientifically literate know how to argue. However, current education policies undermine rather than advance this vital academic goal. I do not mean disagreements that are resolved based on personal considerations or positional authority. For scientists, argument is all about whether claims — regarding the accuracy and generalizability of their models to explain […]

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