Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Squabbles Over Science Education

Writing in the Huffington Post, Larry Dossey ponders whether the scientific method is an "educational train wreck." In referencing author Jeremy Rifkin's work, Dossey says that "the way kids are taught science these days constitutes a form of child abuse. It involves the forced infliction of a false identity." Science, he argues, is largely portrayed as an "individual, solitary endeavor," and, therefore it is "no wonder [that] kids are confused about how science is done in real life. ... They simply are not psychologically geared the way their forebears were for the past 200 years, a fact which many science educators have a hard time accepting." In a response at his blog, Mike the Mad Biologist writes, "Look, teaching science without referring to the scientific method is like teaching math without referring to proofs. Yes, we need to keep kids enthusiastic about science. ... But after they observe something cool, many of them want to know how said cool thing got that way and how it works."

Meanwhile, Wired reports that in Weston, Conn., "evolution education is under attack." Controversy has been resurrected over a topic proposed by an elementary school teacher in the district: Mark Tangarone "wanted his third graders to study and compare the accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin" in 2008 according to Wired. Tangarone's class plan was denied by the school's principal at the time, who was afraid of parents' reactions to the exercise. According to Wired, Tangarone's request to teach his Darwin program this year was rejected; consequently, he submitted a letter of resignation on February 12 — Darwin's birthday — and is retiring two years early. "I feel that Weston has become anti-science and no longer a place I feel comfortable teaching in," he tells Wired.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.