By Dr Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com
Science is pervasive directly and indirectly in every phase of modern life. While the majority are not directly involved in science, they need to understand science and how it works. It is increasingly the underlying control of social, political, and economic decisions made by them or for them. They need to understand how it works, even if they don’t make it work. This knowledge must be a fundamental part of any school curriculum.
Climate skeptics struggle with getting the majority of people to understand the problems with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) story. It was the theme of my presentation at the first Heartland Climate Conference in New York and many articles and presentations since. The problem is much wider because it relates to the lack of scientific abilities among a majority of the population. Based on teaching a science credit for science students for 25 years, giving hundreds of public presentation and involving myself in education at all levels from K-12, to graduate, and post-graduate, plus the transition to the workplace, I believe a fundamental mandatory change in thinking and curricula are required.
I believe abilities are an example of the ongoing nature/nurture argument. People can learn an ability, but can only achieve a high level of competence with an innate ability. For example, most people can learn the mechanics of teaching, but only a few are ‘gifted’ teachers. These concepts are particularly true of certain abilities, such as music, art, languages and mathematics. From my experience, I learned that most people with these gifts struggled with understanding why other people cannot do as they do. Often, they do not even see their ability as unique, and some deride those without their ability. On a larger scale than just mathematics, which philosophically is an art, is the distinction of abilities between those who are comfortable with science and those who are not.