THE PANTANETO FORUM


Issue 34: April 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

 

Specialization in the sciences should never be confused with intellectual specialization, which can sometimes deny science input from philosophy.  According to Helena Sheehan, in the past, philosophy was essential for making the case for science at the level of world view.  In “Philosophy and Science: connection, disconnection, consequences”, Sheehan pleads for greater understanding of science by scientists, through widening education, to include philosophy; in short, a reconnection of science with the intellectual world and the recognition that “Nature does not respect our academic division of labour”.

 

The Forum has previously published articles on science in Africa, for example: “A few nails and a yard of wire” and “Science in Africa: Lessons to Learn”.  In “Physics in South Africa: long road to freedom”, Christina Scott sets out the tortuous history of the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) from puppet organization of an apartheid government to a fully integrated organization representing physicists.  However, as in other countries, there are new challenges.  Fewer pupils are doing mathematics and science at high school level.  As Scott ruefully points out, South African society (in common with many societies) are “more appreciative of soccer than of science, even though physics dictates the arc of a ball in a penalty shoot-out”.

 

There are many links between fine art and science.  (See previous articles: “Science through Art” and “Art, Science and Democracy”).  In “Tunnelling between History of Physics and Art”, Dorothy Sebestyen gives a number of interesting examples from the world of painting, which can help, in a novel way, in the teaching of physics.

 

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

Philosophy & Science: connection, disconnection, consequences, Helena Sheehan

Physics in South Africa: long road to freedom, Christina Scott

Tunnelling between History of Physics and Art, Dorothy Sebestyen

Book Review

Towards Globo Sapiens: Transforming Learners in Higher Education; Patricia Kelly, (Sense Publishers, Rotterdam/Taipei 2008) Series: Educational Futures, Rethinking Theory and Practice.  ISBN 9789087902926.

 

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