By Mark Winegar updated on 11/09/2012
"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems, in my opinion, to characterize our age." - Albert Einstein
How can we get more students to enroll in STEM courses? Engage them in scientific issues that clash with our culture to peak their interest!
Hurricane Sandy has many pondering whether we are experiencing climate change and what we might be able to do about it. Unfortunately this issue transcends science and gets tangled up in politics, religion, and economics. It is a messy situation but one we must explore openly in order to prepare students for a modern world of work. And it's just one of many such issues we must face together as an informed community.
Here are some resources you can use on iPhones and iPads to stimulate thought.
On 10/23/2012 PBS broadcast Frontline's Climate of Doubt episode. This exposé reveals the well organized disinformation effort to debunk climate science. Its a story rife with victims of corporate greed, political tricks, and unwitting victims. This is essential viewing for an informed citizenry. Frontline describes the program:
"Four years ago, climate change was a hot issue and politicians from both sides seemed poised to act. Today public opinion on the climate issue has cooled considerably. Politicians either ignore it or proclaim their skepticism. What’s behind this massive reversal? FRONTLINE goes inside the organizations that fought the scientific establishment to shift the direction of the climate debate."
TED offers up an array of good talks on the issue including:
- James Hansen states, "Imagine a giant asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth. That is the equivalent of what we face now [with climate change], yet we dither.” in Why I must speak out about climate change.
- James Balog shares time-lapse proof of extreme ice loss.
- In Vicki Arroyo's talk Let's prepare for our new climate she reveals, "Climate change is affecting our homes, our communities, our way of life. We should be preparing at every scale and at every opportunity.”.
- David MacKay's talk A reality check on renewables discusses the potential of renewable energy and conservation.
- Larry Brilliant makes the case for optimism claiming, "[Young people] are using their wealth in a way that their forefathers never did; they’re not waiting until they die to create foundations.".
- Johan Rockstrom calls for proactive action in Let the environment guide our development.
Watch these compelling talks and reflect on the different perspectives of the speakers. Then share them with others.
The National Science Foundation has special resources for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch including science360 radio. Programming focuses on the latest developments in scientific research and is broadcast 24 hours per day, 7 days week. The app is only 1.5 MB in size, enjoys a 4+ rating and is free! Visit the NSF website for source information and grant requests too.
The National Institutes of Health is another credible source of scientific information.
Share these resouces with your peers, students, and employees and start an informed conversation.