Academic journal article et Cetera

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Basics of Science

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Basics of Science

Article excerpt

Natalie Angier. The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Basics of Science. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

A National Science Board report recently showed that the United States ranks 17th among the nations surveyed in the share of 18-to-24-year olds who earn natural science and engineering degrees. In 1975, the United States ranked third. Why aren't more Americans becoming scientists? Perhaps it's because we don't want to waste our time slaving over test tubes inventing things. We'd rather become lawyers and sue the people who do that. (NB: The number of lawyers in the USA surpassed 1 million for the first time in 2003 and the trend toward more people becoming lawyers is continuing.)

Nevertheless, no matter what one decides to do in life, it is useful to be scientifically literate because scientific knowledge can offer us a window into some of humankind's greatest achievements and it can help to ensure that our nation won't adopt self-sabotaging strategies such as the Bush administration's policy on stem cell research and the propensity for universities to recruit foreign students to staff math departments and biotech labs rather than developing home-grown talent. …

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