Let Science Students Handle Doubt and Diversity

Science Matters

Jerry Ravetz writes at Nature Stop the science training that demands ‘don’t ask’.Jerry Ravetz is an associate fellow at the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Oxford, UK.Excerpts In italics with my bolds and images.

It’s time to trust students to handle doubt and diversity in science.

As a child, I realized that my parents spoke in Yiddish when they didn’t want me to know what they were talking about, so I became aware that some knowledge was intended only for grown-ups — don’t ask. In college, I was taught an elegant theory of chemical combination based on excess electrons going into holes in the orbital shell of a neighbouring atom. But what about diatomic compounds like oxygen gas? Don’t ask; students aren’t ready to know. In physics, I learnt that Newton’s second law of motion is not an empirical, approximate relation such as Boyle’s…

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