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Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Possibly Related To My Dream Job 

The US Air Force and Army are now funding scientists to do something incredibly cool, and on which I. Want. In!!! They're teaching them to write movies about science and scientists to stimulate interest in American kids, who are not growing up to be scientists. I love this idea for many reasons, and I would absolutely love to be one of these writers (if you're involved, please email me!!).

First of all, it would be really refreshing to have a few science-based movies that have any grounding in science whatsoever: Jurassic Park is the only good example that comes to mind. Bad science and, even worse, bad scientific methods, in movies totally ruin them for me. The best science fiction literature is from people like Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, all of whom are/were trained scientists.

Secondly, it sounds like a ton of fun. I would totally watch things like CSI and ER if they had more of the soul of scientific pursuits - the thrill of discovery, of figuring things out for their own sake - and less (forced) romances and such. That's what kids aren't getting in their science curricula and it's driving them away from science. High school science classes and even intros at colleges (including Oberlin, which is renowned for its science departments) tend to be these god-awful exercises in mass memorization, instead of learning how to think about things scientifically. I'd rather see these problems addressed before we start the marketing effort, but hey, every little bit helps.

Logically, this is at extreme odds with the preznit's mission to destroy science education in America once and for all, but he won't notice, as it probably falls under his radar.

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