THE PANTANETO FORUM


Issue 33: January 2009

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.  Targeted to a lay readership, each chapter discusses a different theory, myth or idea about the mind.  Anticipate wails from theorists whose theories have been given short shrift.  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 lot of learning consists of unlearning things which were either poorly taught or that was taught in a way that was inaccurate, though easier.  In “Teaching Special Relativity: Minkowski trumps Einstein”, Richard Conn Henry highlights such a problem in the teaching of Relativity, and calls for a rethink in the way the subject is first taught to students.

 

Many areas of Mathematics rely on the use of diagrams to help understanding.  In “Visualization and Understanding in Mathematics”, Jessica Carter takes this one stage further and relates the nature of mathematical objects to their understanding, via visualization.

 

Ethics in science journalism is a two-way street, which involves both journalists and scientists.  In “Applying Science Ethics to Science Journalism”, Marc Dressler amplifies this point by identifying the facts that public interest shapes society and scientists and journalists shape the public interest. This interplay and the “duty to objectivity”, imply that scientists and journalists must be above private interests.

 

Even though Janet Kourany’s article: “The Role of Science in the Struggle for Equality”, was written some years ago (in 2001), it is still extremely relevant.  In many areas of the World one would have to conclude that things have got worse rather than better.  In spite of this, Kourany’s message for scientists sets out how science can be well placed to act as a powerful ally in the fight for equality.

 

The proceedings of the Science Matters conference, which we reported in Issue 28, October 2007, have just been published and are available from the publishers – World Scientific.

 

Nigel Sanitt
Editor

ISSN 1741-1572

Contents

Articles

Teaching Special Relativity: Minkowski trumps Einstein, Richard Conn Henry

Visualization and Understanding in Mathematics, Jessica Carter

Applying Science Ethics to Science Journalism, Marc Dressler

The Role of Science in the Struggle for Equality, Janet A. Kourany

 

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