Archive for October, 2007

Creationism’s Trojan Horses

October 10, 2007

Back in the 1970s, Ben Bova wrote an editorial in Analog magazine regarding christian groups demanding “equal time” for creationism in American school science lessons. I wondered why he was worried about it, I didn’t believe for a moment that a nation as scientifically and technologically advanced as the USA would succumb to religious fundamentalism. Subsequent history shows how well I called that one. (more…)

Physics and Maths Teachers Needed!

October 6, 2007

The number of students taking physics A-level has been declining for twenty years. To counter this, the government has launched a campaign to recruit more physics and maths teachers. Lord Sainsbury proposes that physics in schools need not be taught by physics graduates, instead it could be taught by graduates in other subjects (he mentions material science) who do a conversion course.

At GCSE level, since most pupils take the double award General Science course, some of the modules are taught by non-specialists. How well does it work? (more…)

Twenty-First Century Science

October 3, 2007

In many ways the twenty first century has been a bit of a disappointment. The first rocket flight from Heathrow to Luna City has yet to be scheduled, there are no Belters mining the asteroids and I don’t commute in a flying car.

On the plus side, there have been robot probes throughout the the solar system, unimagined powerful personal computers, the internet and lots of other scientific and technological advances. So you’d think that the science education on offer to the youth of today would contain all kinds of goodies not available to us oldies when we were nobbut lads and lasses, wouldn’t you?

Think again. (more…)

No Faith in Faith

October 1, 2007

Over in Northern Ireland, education has always been segregated divided on faith lines. Anybody who has read British or Irish newspapers or watched British or Irish television over the last three decades know the marvelous consequences of that – Northern Ireland is second only to the Balkans in the European Religious Bigotry League Table. (more…)