Back to School for the Syllabusters

Is there hope for science?

There’s an article in The Australian today indicating a a glimmer of re-enlightenment.

Experimentation on the science syllabus puts feelings before facts

(registration required)

The view of science as outlined by the Queensland Studies Authority was utterly rejected by the Australian Council of Deans of Science, representing the heads of science faculties in the nation’s universities. The council’s executive director, John Rice from Sydney University, said it was a misleading view of science and misunderstood “the unique way in which science goes about understanding things”.

“That statement makes scientific knowledge sound as though it’s no more than the fantasies of a bunch of scientists,” he said.

“That’s quite wrong. It fails to understand the way in which science grounds itself in observation and testable hypotheses.

Professor Rice said the national science curriculum made a similar error, oversimplifying the idea of scientists proving and disproving hypotheses to suggest that scientific knowledge was agreed by consensus among scientists.

(emphases mine)

Bravo! Professor Rice. Bravo!

There are some things that undergraduates and prospective university students need to know about academia.

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