Kristin: All this talk about COMS08 has cast my mind back to last year’s conference held in Melbourne. Here’s a post from the archives:
Science is dead, or at least that’s what I told the group of scientists, science teachers and engineers at the Education Day for the COMS07 conference in Melbourne last week. My first point was that science enrolment numbers at school and university are declining. My second point was that the reason St Helena Secondary College has been successful in reversing the decline in their VCE Chemistry enrolments was by introducing nanotechnology. Is nanotechnology science then? Yes and no. Certainly the curriculum draws on the basics required in chemistry, physics and biology, but I think the reason the SHINE nanotechnology program has been so attractive is because they have also integrated social impacts, art, applications, tools, and the latest cutting-edge research; things that provide context around the science. Dr Andrew Maynard called science in context ‘smart science’. So is science dead? Perhaps only if it refuses to become ‘smart’.