Science Education and the Future of Humankind

By Lederman, Leon | Science News, May 10, 2008 | Go to article overview

Science Education and the Future of Humankind


Lederman, Leon, Science News


IN THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES, technology, whose origins go back to pre-history, was largely invention-based. Inventors did not have a basic training in scientific fundamentals. They thrived by gifted intuition, by trial and error, and by a heritage of experience handed down. But beginning in this period, and much more so in the 19th century, the driving force for technology was scientific understanding. Faraday's invention of the electric motor and generator in the 1820s came directly from the drive to understand the physics of electromagnetism. Faraday didn't even take the time to patent his discoveries.

In our own times, new technologies still flow from understanding basic scientific principles, but additionally, some of those new technologies provide a powerful tool for conducting basic research. Thus we have an accelerating pace of change: Science begets technology and technology enables new science, which begets more technology. An example helps: In the 1920s, experimental data from the atom required an entirely new theory, which became known as quantum theory. Applied to electrons in metals and semiconductors, quantum theory led to the invention of the transistor. The transistor revolutionized electronic engineering and gave rise to microelectronics and high-speed digital computers. Modern physical instruments and particle accelerators are based upon these inventions and provide the tools for further advances in all fields of basic research. Out of these came, for example, sophisticated controls, cell phones and MRI.

Now the pace of science-driven change is increasing so fast that what used to evolve over a period of 50 years can take place in 10. Such change has increased longevity (because of improved sanitation and health care) and launched revolutionary improvements in communications, transportation and access to information and entertainment. Of course, not all of these changes are positive, but they are a fact of our times and they influence economics, politics, modes of living and thinking. These changes have entwined continent with continent, region with region, so that the fate of nations is welded together into what is aptly named "the global village."

As a world society, it seems clear that we have arrived at a point in our history when there must be a major increase in the capability of ordinary people to cope with the scientific and technological culture that is shaping their lives and the lives of their children. In a world in which illiteracy is the shame of societies where it is found, science illiteracy is increasingly disastrous. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Science Education and the Future of Humankind
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.