Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
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06-03-2015, 05:10 PM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(06-03-2015 12:46 PM)psikeyhackr Wrote:  So what do we do about it? Our so called educational system seems to be a lost cause.

I am working on the wifi at a high school now. Most of the teachers I have asked had never heard of Project Gutenberg. The one that claimed to know about it said she had not suggested it to her students.

For me, science fiction made science more interesting than the science teachers I finally got in high school. but how can worthwhile SF be written without using SCIENCE WORDS, like 'orbit', 'electron' and 'gravity'. So I wrote a computer program that counted and computed the density of science and fantasy words in any text fed into it.

Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust has an SF word density of 1.024. 1.00 means 1 science word for every 1,000 characters including spaces and punctuation. The book is less than 500K. But the Harry Potter series is more than SIX MEGABYTES. Clarke uses more science words in 1/12th the space than JK Rowling. Moondust has 5 times the density of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle that beat it for the Hugo.

So we need to suggest what kids should read in grade school.

psik

First:tell the terrorist that instead of spending money on trying to kill middle eastern people they should put more money into education and science.

Second:stop anti science groups. Creationism, conspiracy nuts you name it

Third:tell america knowledge is good instead of demonizing it

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07-03-2015, 03:22 AM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(06-03-2015 12:46 PM)psikeyhackr Wrote:  So what do we do about it? Our so called educational system seems to be a lost cause.

I am working on the wifi at a high school now. Most of the teachers I have asked had never heard of Project Gutenberg. The one that claimed to know about it said she had not suggested it to her students.

For me, science fiction made science more interesting than the science teachers I finally got in high school. but how can worthwhile SF be written without using SCIENCE WORDS, like 'orbit', 'electron' and 'gravity'. So I wrote a computer program that counted and computed the density of science and fantasy words in any text fed into it.

Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust has an SF word density of 1.024. 1.00 means 1 science word for every 1,000 characters including spaces and punctuation. The book is less than 500K. But the Harry Potter series is more than SIX MEGABYTES. Clarke uses more science words in 1/12th the space than JK Rowling. Moondust has 5 times the density of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle that beat it for the Hugo.

So we need to suggest what kids should read in grade school.

psik

Too bad you've shown yourself to be anything but a skeptic here, which allows your 'love' for science to run away with itself. Overuse and fetishization of 'science words' means fuck all to improving education.

You need to nurture a child's curiosity, teach them the mental tools they'll need to embrace that curiosity constructively (critical thinking and skepticism). But also realize that not everyone is going to be a scientist, it won't take with everyone, and that's still okay. Making a kid read Science Fiction instead of Fantasy isn't going to make them a better critical thinkers. We can have both Star Trek and Star Wars, and the world would be poorer without either.

So who, besides you, gives a flying fuck as to the density of science words in a work of fiction? And then laments that the Hugo award went to a book with a lesser density? I'm sorry, should we start granting awards for Best Actress to those with the most screen time crying? Perhaps some other metric, like the amount of time they spend in silly costumes? That you can't step back enough to see how fucking ridiculous and non sequiter everything in your post was speaks volumes (especially in regards to your other posts).

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07-03-2015, 04:08 AM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
Don't think we really needed a poll to figure this out. It's been pretty obvious.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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07-03-2015, 04:48 AM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
I think science word density in fiction *is* an interesting metric, especially if you do it year on year, though I wouldn't be using it to evaluate Hugo award winners. It can give you an idea of what kinda public appreciation there is for science, in the sense that authors won't write stuff that won't get read.

The question is definitely how you fix it. Politics is heading in an anti-science direction all over the place, chiefly IMO because scientists are saying things that no one wants to hear like "Stop burning so much fossil fuel, tighten the old belt, we need to make a plan fast or we're fucked" and *secondly* because there are large numbers of uninformed people who will vote for guys with more cheerful messages.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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07-03-2015, 04:48 AM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(30-01-2015 08:17 AM)cjlr Wrote:  American universities are the finest scientific establishments on the planet.

That's a bold statement. Care to back it up? Far more bold than saying "some of the finest". Makes it sound like national pride rather than anything else.

Personally I don't know but if I was going to make that statement I would want to find some way of quantifying excellence. So for example, number of Nobel prizes / peer reviewed papers / impact factor per capita etc. And are they just richer and therefore able to buy in the best scientists from abroad?

How does your average American university compare with Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Imperial College London in the UK? Or the Max Planck institutes in Germany?

On reading about academic funding, it does seem that America is more in decline than other countries now. Don't take this personally, exactly the same thing would apply to me if I was to say that the UK had the finest scientific establishments on the planet. The UK still punches above its weight and there has been a long history of scientific excellence, but as with all these things, the politicians take what they have for granted and don't maintain them.

Academia is being actively developed in countries like Germany and Finland for example. Germany and Finland for example offer free university tuition to anyone that wants to study there regardless of where in the world they come from.

Now if you say "American universities are have some of the the finest scientific establishments on the planet." then I don't think people will disagree with you.
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07-03-2015, 05:09 AM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  How does your average American university compare with Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Imperial College London in the UK?

To be fair I wouldn't consider those "Average" UK universities so idk why they would be compared with average US universities. They are top class and should be compared to top class US universities like Princeton, Harvard, MIT, and Yale.

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07-03-2015, 06:02 AM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(07-03-2015 05:09 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  How does your average American university compare with Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Imperial College London in the UK?

To be fair I wouldn't consider those "Average" UK universities so idk why they would be compared with average US universities. They are top class and should be compared to top class US universities like Princeton, Harvard, MIT, and Yale.

Don't forget Carnegie Mellon.

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07-03-2015, 10:18 AM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(30-01-2015 08:17 AM)cjlr Wrote:  American universities are the finest scientific establishments on the planet.

That's a bold statement.

Yeah, well, I like to live on the edge.

(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Care to back it up? Far more bold than saying "some of the finest". Makes it sound like national pride rather than anything else.

Since I'm not American, which well you may recall, it would seem bizarre to refer to it as national pride.

But, uh... sure...

(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Personally I don't know but if I was going to make that statement I would want to find some way of quantifying excellence. So for example, number of Nobel prizes / peer reviewed papers / impact factor per capita etc.

Well; did you? I didn't particularly think a single sentence, the exact parsing of which was irrelevant to the point I was making, needed extensive citations and an explanation of methodology. But if you are intent on criticising what you seem to have taken for a far stronger statement than I wished to make, we should probably establish a better basis than "U" vs "NO U", right? Tongue

So, let's take this tedious train ride where it leads. Although all such metrics are kinda flawed, there are some to look at. Leiden ended up with American schools dominant; so did HEEACT when it ran. The ARWU in Shanghai has Oxford and Cambridge mixing it up with a dozen American schools for top placing. Wikipedia also gives, for the "broadest possible definition of affiliation", the universities most affiliated with Nobel Prize winners, those being American, American, British, American, American, American, British, American, American, French, German, American, German, German, American, American, American, German, American, and British, to very tediously enumerate the top twenty.

I'm not sure what exactly you're after, here, but I must confess it eludes me. Was my casual statement from six weeks ago that necessary to revisit?

My point then and now was that there are a great many world-class institutions in the US, and that they are as divorced as it is possible to be from any anti-scientific (and indeed, anti-intellectual) sentiment in the mass media and political populism - to a degree that may be hard to discern from the outside.

(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  And are they just richer and therefore able to buy in the best scientists from abroad?

You say that as if it somehow affects the quality of their output? And, it's not like they're paupers over at Cambridge or the Swiss ETH, now, is it?

I mean, the richest sports teams tend to win more, too. That's not really a surprise.
(a facetious example, sure, but it's still true)

(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  How does your average American university compare with Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Imperial College London in the UK? Or the Max Planck institutes in Germany?

Worse, surely. That's what happens when one compares an average from one dataset with the outliers in another. What I don't see is the point of such a comparison.

(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  On reading about academic funding, it does seem that America is more in decline than other countries now. Don't take this personally, exactly the same thing would apply to me if I was to say that the UK had the finest scientific establishments on the planet. The UK still punches above its weight and there has been a long history of scientific excellence, but as with all these things, the politicians take what they have for granted and don't maintain them.

I was under the impression that just about everywhere had seen educational and scientific funding at best flatline in real terms over the last decade or so. The strong outlier within OECD nations is South Korea, although I strongly suspect places like China or Saudi Arabia have dramatically increased such funding as well.

Anglo institutions are privileged for a variety of social and historical reasons.

(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Academia is being actively developed in countries like Germany and Finland for example. Germany and Finland for example offer free university tuition to anyone that wants to study there regardless of where in the world they come from.

Which is indeed laudable if they can make that affordable, which they seem to.

Actually, that does make me wonder, what are enrollment trends like at German schools? The population as a whole is aging to the point of shrinking, so the youth cohorts are getting smaller. Not that they don't get to exploit the same global brain drain the rest of us rich westerners do to fill up the gaps, naturally.

Incidentally, the richest 20 American universities have, collectively, a greater endowment than the entire GDP of Finland.

(07-03-2015 04:48 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Now if you say "American universities are have some of the the finest scientific establishments on the planet." then I don't think people will disagree with you.

Um, yes. Freely granted.

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07-03-2015, 06:10 PM (This post was last modified: 07-03-2015 06:17 PM by TheBear.)
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(30-01-2015 07:56 AM)Metazoa Zeke Wrote:  That is because the U.S is the dumbest first world country, period.

On the other hand, the number of Nobel Prize winners from the US far exceeds that of many other first world countries, people from all over the world come here for cutting edge new medical procedures, internet technology and companies like Google, Apple and more, and people from all over the world come here for .... wait for it .... education.

Isn't that ironic. Drinking Beverage
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07-03-2015, 06:22 PM
RE: Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
(07-03-2015 06:10 PM)TheBear Wrote:  
(30-01-2015 07:56 AM)Metazoa Zeke Wrote:  That is because the U.S is the dumbest first world country, period.

On the other hand, the number of Nobel Prize winners from the US far exceeds that of many other first world countries, people from all over the world come here for cutting edge new medical procedures, internet technology and companies like Google, Apple and more, and people from all over the world come here for .... wait for it .... education.

Isn't that ironic. Drinking Beverage

Its called money, not being smart we can buy people. People from around the world ce to ameica because of money. And also tell apple ni hou

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