THE PANTANETO FORUM


Issue 32: October 2008

Mindboggling: Preliminaries to a science of the mind   by Roy Harris.  Do you have a mind?  Answers to this question have divided Western thinkers for centuries, and still do.  Mindboggling sets out to identify a nucleus of basic issues about the mind, and present the main arguments for and against in each case.  Anticipate wails from theorists whose theories have been given short shrift.  Published on the 19th September, 2008, Mindboggling is available on Amazon, from Bookshops or direct from Publishers. 

 

Science on Television by Bienvenido León.  

The book is a clear and systematic guide to the narrative and rhetorical techniques used by science documentary filmmakers. The book is priced at £18.50, but for direct orders we are offering a 20% discount.

 

Motivating Science is a collection of articles from the first five years of The Pantaneto Forum.  We are offering a 20% discount for direct orders.

 

 
Editorial

 

A new generation of historical research in Germany is emerging which is studying the Nazi period openly, honestly and in forensic detail.  In "Science under the Swastika", Wolfgang Goede expands his previous note, in issue 26 of the Pantaneto Forum, to confront the questions of why the scientific community and journalists in Germany at that time supported Hitler's ideology, the war and the holocaust.  Because, support they did: according to Goede, they not only for the most part voluntarily followed the party line, "they even surpassed party officials".  Scientists are people and can be vulnerable to intellectual and moral corruption just like anyone else.  In the light of this, Goede and his colleagues’ attempts, through the German Association of Science Writers, to uncover the historical details and introduce ethical guidelines, are to be welcomed.

There has been a lot of research on gender issues in Physics education.  The research, by its very nature, concentrates on the very low percentage of female physics students and whether there has been any improvement in the situation over the years.  In "Would you like to study Physics", Tanja Tajmel and Zalkida Hadzibegovic address the issue of future trends.  They contrast the situation in Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovenia, but their conclusions have a much wider application.  Unfortunately, they conclude that as things stand, the under-representation of women in physics will not change in the next generation.  They describe some projects which may improve the situation, but a great deal will have to be done in order to improve the situation.

 

There have been a number of articles in the Pantaneto Forum on science and art (Hoffmann, Orion and Smolin), theatre (Barbaccci) and television (Léon).  In “Theatre, Film and Show techniques for Science Education”, Stefan Heusler employs a number of diverse visual and artistic methods in science and mathematics education.

There have been many articles on the subject of creationism and science.  Even though the arguments against creationism, as a science have been well made, the message does not always seem to be getting through.  The nature of science itself allows for the creation (no pun intended) of new theories, and therefore what better argument can there be than to challenge creationists to try and knock down science, if they can.  “Advice for Creationists” by “The Curmudgeon” sets out in a simple but serious way what they would have to do. 

 

Nigel Sanitt
Editor

ISSN 1741-1572

Contents

Articles

Science under the Swastika, Wolfgang Goede

“Would you like to study Physics”, Tanja Tajmel and Zalkida Hadzibegovic

Theatre, Film and Show techniques for Science Education, Stefan Heusler

Advice for Creationists, The Curmudgeon

 

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