[Coral-List] The Age of Denial

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 23 08:52:24 EDT 2013

   Just thought that excerpts from an op-ed piece by Adam Frank, a professor of
   physics  and astronomy at the University of Rochester, were especially
   poignant and fitting for all listers to consider.


   What do I tell my students? From one end of their educational trajectory to
   the other, our society told these kids science was important. How confusing
   is it for them now, when scientists receive death threats for simply doing
   honest research on our planet's climate history?

   We face many daunting challenges as a society, and they won't all be solved
   with  more  science  and  math education. But what has been lost is an
   understanding that science's open-ended, evidence-based processes - rather
   than just it's results - are essential to meeting those challenges.

   My  students   .   .  . must become fierce champions of science in the
   marketplace of ideas.

   During my undergraduate studies I was shocked at the low opinion some of my
   professors  had  of  the  astronomer Carl Sagan. For me his efforts to
   popularize science were an inspiration, but for them such "outreach" was a
   diversion. That view makes no sense today.

   The enthusiasm and generous spirit that Mr. Sagan used to advocate for
   science now must inspire us all. Behind the giant particle accelerators and
   space observatories, science is a way of behaving in the world. It is,
   simply put, a tradition. And as we know from history's darkest moments, even
   the most enlightened traditions can be broken and lost. Perhaps that is the
   most important lesson all lifelong students of science must learn now.




   1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/opinion/welcome-to-the-age-of-denial.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

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