Sunday, December 9, 2007

A DNA-Driven World---J. Craig Venter

From 'The 32nd Richard Dimbleby Lecture
Delivered by J. Craig Venter, BBC One, December 4, 2007'

"There are also science intensive schools that are trying alternative teaching methods. One such school in Virginia is teaching students to be more like scientists - to use inquiry-based learning and encouraging them to do experiments they designed themselves rather than age-old text book experiments and lessons heavy on memorization. These students are learning what I learned on my own while doing research as an advanced university student : that there is no greater intellectual joy than asking seemingly simple questions about life, then designing an experiment to find answers and uncovering a never before known discovery. We need generations of children who are grounded in reality and who learn evidenced-based decision making as a life-long philosophy. Teaching science as evidence-based decision making could have a profound impact on the pace of future discoveries and inventions. Simply asking what is the evidence behind any claim is a marked contrast to approaching life only upon a faith-based system.

Fostering such scientific literacy is crucial, because we and our planet are facing problems that, I believe, can only be solved by scientific advancement."

The entire article is a bit long, but it is a quick (and, I think, a must) read.

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