Periodic Tabloid

Talking About Science

If you ask the mythical person-on-the-street for a definition of science, you’d probably get something like, “a body of knowledge about the physical or biological world.” My dictionary chimes in with “a branch of knowledge dealing with a body of facts on the natural world.”

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Here We Go Again

With depressing regularity we are treated to reports of the scientific illiteracy of our fellow citizens. One such salvo comes from the National Center for Education Statistics.

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The Age of Wonder

Richard Holmes’ book, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, is witty, charming, inspiring, and highly recommended. So is the author, as I learned firsthand at a lecture he delivered at CHF last week.

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Science Report Card

Every two years the National Science Board produces a detailed report on the state of U.S. science, engineering, and technology. The new 2010 version can be found here.

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Did You Like High School Science?

Chances are that anyone reading a blog called Periodic Tabloid will have good memories of enjoying high-school science classes. A fondness for high-school science isn’t universally shared, however. Sadly, there are people who harbor a negative association with their high-school science experience. Can this be changed?

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Ullyot Delight

For the past 20 years the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture has brought people of the highest distinction to Philadelphia for an evening of lively discussion. Academics, CEOs, government officials, university presidents, and others have all offered their perspectives on the chemical sciences’ contributions to society. This year’s honoree was Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone of the University of North Carolina.

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Student Achievement in Science

It is an article of faith, especially in higher education, that student participation in research is utterly required for shaping attitudes, appreciation, and understanding of the scientific enterprise.

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On the iPod, Kindle, and Bedside Table

Like most contemporary people, I am a voracious consumer of information.  I readily concede that possession of information does not ensure wisdom, but at least it raises the possibility of a more informed judgment about the state of the world. Leaving aside television and the Internet, my main info sources are podcasts and books. Here are a few current favorites from each category.

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Chemistry Film Fest

Most people love movies. Whether drama, comedy, westerns, thrillers, romance, documentaries, or animation, what’s not to like about settling in for a couple of hours with popcorn and film? But have you ever seen a chemistry movie?

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What People Think and Know About Science

By now most readers will have heard about the 9 July Pew Research Center report on the attitudes of Americans on science and scientists. At one level the news is good: Americans hold scientists in high esteem and believe science contributes to our economic well-being. At another level, though, the Pew report reveals the seeds of future problems.

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