What is Science Scenes?

Why did I chose Science Scenes as the name for my outreach on science education, news and content? Yes. There was the fact that the domain name was available. Yes. There was alliteration which, I admit, I am fond of. But there was a deeper reason behind the naming of the website and series of videos.

It comes from a quote by Richard Feynman the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and “rock-star” science popularizer, and it deals with an issue I feel is entrenched in the classrooms of many science teachers; a focus on vocabulary, names and dates without inspiring the curiosity to actually use science.

In an edited collection of Feynman correspondences, “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman”. Feynman discusses this very issue:

Copyright Tamiko Thiel 1984 (C.C. BY_SA 3.0)I started to read: “Triboluminescence. Triboluminescence is the light emitted when crystals are crushed…”

 

I said, “And there, have you got science? No! You have only told what a word means in terms of other words. You haven’t told anything about nature – what crystals produce light when you crush them, why they produce light. Did you see any student go home and try it? He can’t.

 

But if, instead, you were to write, ‘When you take a lump of sugar and crush it with a pair of pliers in the dark, you can see a bluish flash. Some other crystals do that too. Nobody knows why. The phenomenon is called “triboluminescence.” ’ Then someone will go home and try it. Then there’s an experience of nature.” I used that example to show them, but it didn’t make any difference where I would have put my finger in the book; it was like that everywhere.

 

Finally, I said that I couldn’t see how anyone could be educated by this self-propagating system in which people pass exams, and teach others to pass exams, but nobody knows anything.

This is what Science Scenes is about. It’s a place where we can inspire a little curiosity through the creation of brief communications of “scenes.”

Science Scenes uses brief articles and videos along with storytelling to communicate the content in easy-to-understand ways. I want to avoid spoon-feeding definitions as much as possible.

Science Scenes discusses crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing of science along with citizen science opportunities. Science Scenes interviews everyday people engaging in science to give you a “scene” into their lives.

Science can be fun. As formal and informal educators, we need to remember this. Science Scenes reviews science books and other media; both of the fictional and non-fictional variety.

Please join me on this journey to bring science reasoning and passion to all.

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