(originally published on Nov 10, 2014 on the blog “Loreall’s Nerdy Mind”)
Today is World Science Day! Every year on November 10 it raises awareness of the benefits of science worldwide. This year’s theme is “Quality Science Education: ensuring a sustainable future for all.”
Consider the existence of the Creationist Museum and climate deniers. Not to mention Texas trying to omit evolution and climate change in text books, and a Scottsdale AZ Public School removing an entire page on pregnancy options from their Honors Biology book. (HONORS Biology!) It seems to me we here in the US need this now more than ever. Large corporations and lobbyists are investing in America’s ignorance and unfortunately getting big returns. This needs to stop.
The latest OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) rankings show the US has been in a steady decline where reading, science and math are concerned. We haven’t just slipped, we are now way below average and are ranked 36th. I’m sure if you asked the average person on the street if they could even name 35 countries that could be ahead of us they couldn’t. (BTW, Estonia and Liechtenstein are ahead of us on all fronts).
There is hope. After all Science now seems to be cool. (Thank You, Big Bang Theory) Last year, Science videos even usurped Cat videos as YouTube’s most popular! Science is knowledge. The knowledge of how things work. The knowledge of how things are created. It’s the knowledge of the world around us. Just walking through life on a daily basis one is constantly learning like a great white is constantly swimming. If you think about it, I’m sure you can come up with some piece of knowledge you gained today that you didn’t have yesterday. Whether it’s about the creation of the universe, the human genome or how sausage is made. Maybe you just learned Great White Sharks are constantly swimming to move water thru their gills to breathe, even while they sleep. (Pretty cool, huh?) Why would you not want to be educated in the sciences? Science opens your mind to things you may not have considered and hopefully makes you a better person.
There are so many free sources for science education. Why not start learning today on World Science Day? Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
My own YouTube Channel, of course! https://www.youtube.com/user/MyNerdyMind
Sci Show on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/scishow
Minute Physics, one of the most popular on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics
Ted Talks http://www.ted.com/
MIT has many of their courses online http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
Open Culture has classes in just about anything, not just science. http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses#Astronomy
Happy Science-ing 🙂