he contemporary theory of biological evolution is one of the most robust products of scientific inquiry. It is the foundation for research in many areas of biology as well as an essential element of science education. To become informed and responsible citizens in our contemporary technological world, students need to study the theories and empirical evidence central to current scientific understanding.
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Center for Advancing Science and Engineering Capacity
Daryl Chubin, Director
Center for Careers in Science and Technology
Richard Weibl, Director
From software piracy and transhumanism, to pandemic influenza and public school music curricula, the topics of the papers presented at the STGlobal Consortium’s Science and Technology in Society conference ran the gamut of science policy-related issues.
When a group of middle-schoolers from a small rural town in northern California started following a research curriculum called the Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP), they had no idea that they could make a world-class scientific discovery. Instead of studying worksheets to learn science concepts, these students were conducting their own experiment using a camera orbiting Mars. They were active participants in exploration instead of just reading about it.
Priscilla Laws’ love of learning almost came to an abrupt end very early on—when she left kindergarten, where learning was by doing, and entered first grade, where learning was rote. “They promoted me to first grade, and it was dreadful,” said Laws, a research professor of physics at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. “I was sitting in a seat and copying letters from a board.”
What does it mean to live in a universe that is ever-expanding? Will discoveries about early galaxy formation and extrasolar planets change our assumptions about our place in the world? If believing in the power of a placebo can trigger the body’s immune-system responses, could religious faith help promote healing, too?
Call him “Neutron Bob” or even “Bob the Science Slob” and he won’t mind. Those are just a few of the nicknames Bob Hirshon has adopted during his appearances on the “Absolutely Mindy” radio show.
Once a month, Hirshon, senior project director for media programs at AAAS, appears as the science expert on the kids’ radio program. Mindy Thomas hosts the segment, which is a part of the “Kid’s Place Live” channel on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Hirshon and Mindy talk about the latest scientific developments and answer kids’ science questions.
An ambitious set of ideas for using scientific cooperation among Asia-Pacific nations to strengthen research and innovation throughout the region emerged from a day-long meeting of leaders convened by AAAS.
The region—including nations as diverse as China, India, Japan, Australia, Mexico, and Canada—is already a science and technology powerhouse. But the AAAS roundtable, involving more than 30 leaders from the region, yielded nearly two dozen possible steps that could be taken by governments, universities, funding agencies, and businesses to strengthen cooperation.