THE PANTANETO FORUM


Issue 23: July 2006

Editorial

Motivating Science, a collection of articles from the first five years of The Pantaneto Forum is now available from bookshops and Amazon etc.  We are offering a discount for direct orders, see our order page.

 

One paradox in science is that there is a genuine and abiding interest in popular science books amongst the general public, and yet science is often unpopular and even actively disliked within the school population.  In “How to Educate a Scientist”, Anthony O’Hear and Michael Redhead put forward their ideas on how to address this state of affairs.  Their analysis calls for a rethink on the way science is taught in schools, and an honest reappraisal of the problems by politicians and educationalists.


Science and Technology Centres have been a growth industry around the world for a number of years.  The “hands-on” approach and the idea of a museum of “concepts” rather than “objects” appeals to visitors to these centres.  In “Heidegger in the Hands-on Science and Technology Center”, Richard Walton takes as his motif the essence of technology as put forward by the philosopher Heidegger in the early 1950’s.  Heidegger’s thesis was to see technology as both a danger and a salvation, which requires critical thought to assess the role and purpose of technology in society.

 

We are used to thinking of the Internet as a revolutionary new way in which science and technology has, among other things, changed the way we purchase items.  In particular, the “Amazon” effect has taken remote shopping to new levels.  In “McKinley’s Amazon”, Mordechai Ben-Ari explains how many of the aspects of this new order were in fact present in the nineteenth century.  He takes as an example an old Sears catalogue from the 1890’s, which makes an interesting and informative comparison with what is available on today’s Internet.

 

Future trends for science on the Internet point to a continuation of the radical changes and opportunities afforded to scientists.  In “What is the matter with e-Science?” Paul Wouters examines the prospects in the near future, and explains how the trend for cross-fertilization between different areas of science and technology will enhance the integrative aspects of e-Science projects.

Nigel Sanitt
Editor

ISSN 1741-1572

Contents

Articles

How to Educate a Scientist, Anthony O’Hear and Michael Redhead

Heidegger in the Hands-on Science and Technology Center: Philosophical Reflections on Learning in Informal Settings, Richard Walton

McKinley’s Amazon, Mordechai Ben-Ari

What is the matter with e-Science? – thinking aloud about informatisation in knowledge creation, Paul Wouters

 

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