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Want to make STEM careers more attractive? A good start would be to stop politicizing science

by: Eric B.

Thu May 29, 2014 at 17:03:24 PM EDT


Apparently they were having a conversation at that Mackinac thing about how to match people to jobs and address the skills deficit and people we cannot allow a mineshaft gap and whatnot. Someone from Dow said something that is getting passed around like a marijuana cigarette at a convention of hippies, and then Mary Kramer asked this.

How do we make STEM cool, asked moderator Mary Kramer, publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business.

“Are kids just not turned on by science and how do we turn that around?” Kramer said.

Hey, here's a good place to start ... how's about people stop publicly calling scientists a bunch of scheming liars?

Seriously.

We spend all this time hand wringing about how the kids don't like science and math these days, and yet all of the science issues that are in the news -- climate change, evolution, vaccinations, fluoridated water, etc... -- are all mostly politicized and include a significant number of people who say that the scientists are all wrong because they're shady and only in it for the money. I mean, Fried Chicken Frank just a couple of weeks ago committed borderline libel against James Hansen in accusing him of doctoring global temperature records (providing strong evidence that Fried Chicken Frank knows fuck-all about any of the global temperature records).

How do we expect kids to find delight and and wonder and things to pique their interest in science if all they hear at home is how scientists don't know what they're talking about and how Uncle Merle, the one who bitched endlessly about being required to take Earth Science 101 to get his associates in HVAC repair at the local community college, knows better than all those pointy heads about climate change and it's the sun god dammit. And don't even get him started on the Large Hadron Collider or the Yellowstone Supervolcano.

We adults do a very poor job at taking science seriously, and for no better reason than we don't like what it tells us, so everyone pretends that they're the next Einstein who can fly the middle finger at the globe's scientific community an tell it that it's wrong and terrible and corrupt. And these people are puzzled why children who watch this don't want to stretch their minds learning math and science.

Eric B. :: Want to make STEM careers more attractive? A good start would be to stop politicizing science
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I'd say that Frank stepped over the border with respect to Hansen (4.00 / 4)
Accusing him of doctoring temperature records is not distinguishable from what the Competitive Enterprise and National Review accused MIchael Mann of. In fact, Beckmann's accusations are even more specific.

If Beckmann gets sued, I'd watch his deposition on pay-per-view.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


He definitely crossed a line (4.00 / 1)
I just think he's so God damned dumb that I don't know if anyone could possibly prove all the elements of genuine defamation. Although, given his history of non-apology apologies, it would be hilarious watching him try to explain before a judge why it's okay for him to tell people that James Hansen doctored the global temperature record.

In this case, I think the Detroit News editorial page is responsible. You can make an argument that Frank Beckmann is simply too stupid to know any better, and I would buy that argument, but if so then what's the excuse for continually giving him column space?

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Isn't Nolan Finley the News Opinions editor? (0.00 / 0)
The answer to your question should be self-evident--it's the blind leading the blind, or in this case the ignorant facilitating the ignorant.

[ Parent ]

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