6,153,332 research outputs found

    Apollo-Soyuz pamphlet no. 9: General science

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    The objectives and planning activities for the Apollo-Soyuz mission are summarized. Aspects of the space flight considered include the docking module and launch configurations, spacecraft orbits, and weightlessness. The 28 NASA experiments conducted onboard the spacecraft are summarized. The contributions of the mission to the fields of astronomy, geoscience, biology, and materials sciences resulting from the experiments are explored

    Educators of Prospective Teachers Hesitate to Embrace Evolution due to Deficient Understanding of Science/Evolution and High Religiosity

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    Acceptance of evolution by educators of prospective teachers remains superficially studied despite their role in having mentored schoolteachers whose weak support of evolution is known. Here, we contrast the views of New England educators of prospective teachers (n = 62; 87% Ph.D./doctorate holders in 32 specializations) with those of the general faculty (n = 244; 93% Ph.D./doctorate holders in 40 disciplines), both members of 35 colleges and universities, and with college students (n = 827; subsample of the 35 institutions) who were polled on: (1) the controversy evolution vs. creationism vs. intelligent design (ID), (2) their understanding of how science/evolution works, and (3) their religiosity. The educators held intermediate positions in respect to the general faculty and the students: 94% of the general faculty, 75% of the educators, and 63% of the students said they accepted evolution openly; and 82% of the general faculty, 71% of the educators, and 58% of the students thought that evolution is definitely true. Only 3% of the general faculty in comparison to 19% of the educators and 24% of the students thought that evolution and creationism are in harmony. Although 93% of the general faculty, educators, and students knew that evolution relies on common ancestry, 26% of the general faculty, 45% of the educators, and 35% of the students did not know that humans are apes. Remarkably, 15% of the general faculty, 32% of the educators, and 35% of the students believed, incorrectly, that the origin of the human mind cannot be explained by evolution; and 30% of the general faculty, 59% of the educators, and 75% of the students were Lamarckian (=believed in inheritance of acquired traits). For science education: 96% of the general faculty, 86% of the educators, and 71% of the students supported the exclusive teaching of evolution, while 4% of the general faculty, 14% of the educators, and 29% of the students favored equal time to evolution, creationism and ID; note that 92% of the general faculty, 82% of the educators, and 50% of the students perceived ID as either not scientific and proposed to counter evolution based on false claims or as religious doctrine consistent with creationism. The general faculty was the most knowledgeable about science/evolution and the least religious (science index, SI = 2.49; evolution index, EI = 2.49; and religiosity index, RI = 0.49); the educators reached lower science/evolution but higher religiosity indexes than the general faculty (SI = 1.96, EI = 1.96, and RI = 0.83); and the students were the least knowledgeable about science/evolution and the most religious (SI = 1.80, EI = 1.60, and RI = 0.89). Understanding of science and evolution were inversely correlated with level of religiosity, and understanding of evolution increased with increasing science literacy. Interestingly, ≈36% of the general faculty, educators and students considered religion to be very important in their lives, and 17% of the general faculty, 34% of the educators, and 28% of the students said they prayed daily. Assessing the perception of evolution by educators of prospective teachers vs. the general faculty and the students of New England, one of the historically most progressive regions in the U.S., is crucial for determining the magnitude of the impact of creationism and ID on attitudes toward science, reason, and education in science

    Shaping Attitudes Toward Science in an Introductory Astronomy Class

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    At many universities, astronomy is a popular way for non-science majors to fulfill a general education requirement. Because general-education astronomy may be the only college-level science course taken by these students, it is the last chance to shape the science attitudes of these future journalists, teachers, politicians, and voters. I report on an attempt to measure and induce changes in science attitudes in my general-education astronomy course. I describe construction of the attitude survey, classroom activities designed to influence attitudes, and give numerical results indicating a significant improvement. In contrast, the literature on attitudes in introductory physics courses generally reports stagnation or decline. I briefly comment on some plausible explanations for this difference.Comment: v2 includes a copy of the surve

    Who cares about polar regions? Results from a survey of U.S. public opinion

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    Abstract What do members of the general public know about polar regions, and how much do they care? Who knows or cares? This paper explores data from the General Social Survey (GSS), which in 2006 questioned a representative sample of more than 1800 U.S. adults about their knowledge and opinions concerning polar regions. The polar survey items were modeled on long-running GSS assessments of general science knowledge and opinions, recently summarized in the U.S. National Science Board\u27s report Science and Engineering Indicators 2008. Polar knowledge proves to be limited but certainly not absent among survey respondents. Polar knowledge, general science knowledge, and education - together with individual background characteristics (age, sex, income) - predict policy-relevant opinions. Political orientation filters the impacts of education, and also shows consistent, significant effects across all the polar opinion questions. These 2006 GSS polar results will provide a baseline for comparison when the questions are repeated on a 2010 survey, after the International Polar Year concludes

    Development of an Assessment of Student Conception of the Nature of Science

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    This article describes a study in which a series of general education and introductory science courses were assessed using a Likert-scale instrument. As universities across the country have begun to make changes in their science curricula, especially with regards to non-science majors, assessment of courses and curricula has lagged behind implementation. The Likert-scale instrument, Attitudes and Conceptions in Science (ACS), provides a means by which faculty can determine the partial effectiveness of introductory and general education science courses. The established validity and reliability of this test suggests that its use in a variety of courses could allow identification of specific teaching methods, content, or other course characteristics that promote scientific literacy. Educational levels: Graduate or professional

    Understanding the Transition between High School and College Mathematics and Science

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    Mathematics and science education is gaining increasing recognition as key for the well-being of individuals and society. Accordingly, the transition from high school to college is particularly important to ensure that students are prepared for college mathematics and science. The goal of this study was to understand how high school mathematics and science course-taking related to performance in college. Specifically, the study employed a nonparametric regression method to examine the relationship between high school mathematics and science courses, and academic performance in college mathematics and science courses. The results provide some evidence pertaining to the positive benefits from high school course-taking. Namely, students who completed high school trigonometry and lab-based chemistry tended to earn higher grades in college algebra and general chemistry, respectively. However, there was also evidence that high school coursework in biology and physics did not improve course performance in general biology and college physics beyond standardized test scores. Interestingly, students who completed high school calculus earned better grades in general biology. The implications of the findings are discussed for high school curriculum and alignment in standards between high schools and colleges

    The art of being human : a project for general philosophy of science

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    Throughout the medieval and modern periods, in various sacred and secular guises, the unification of all forms of knowledge under the rubric of ‘science’ has been taken as the prerogative of humanity as a species. However, as our sense of species privilege has been called increasingly into question, so too has the very salience of ‘humanity’ and ‘science’ as general categories, let alone ones that might bear some essential relationship to each other. After showing how the ascendant Stanford School in the philosophy of science has contributed to this joint demystification of ‘humanity’ and ‘science’, I proceed on a more positive note to a conceptual framework for making sense of science as the art of being human. My understanding of ‘science’ is indebted to the red thread that runs from Christian theology through the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment to the Humboldtian revival of the university as the site for the synthesis of knowledge as the culmination of self-development. Especially salient to this idea is science‘s epistemic capacity to manage modality (i.e. to determine the conditions under which possibilities can be actualised) and its political capacity to organize humanity into projects of universal concern. However, the challenge facing such an ideal in the twentyfirst century is that the predicate ‘human’ may be projected in three quite distinct ways, governed by what I call ‘ecological’, ‘biomedical’ and ‘cybernetic’ interests. Which one of these future humanities would claim today’s humans as proper ancestors and could these futures co-habit the same world thus become two important questions that general philosophy of science will need to address in the coming years


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    Of the branches of mathematics, geometry has, from the earliest Hellenic period, been given a curious position that straddles empirical and exact science. Its standing as an empirical and approximate science stems from the practical pursuits of artistic drafting, land surveying and measuring in general. From the prominence of visual application, such as figures and constructions in the twentieth century Einstein's General Theory of Relativity holds that the geometry of space-time is dependent upon physical quantities