Tuesday, December 14, 2010

High Five for Science!

Science is cool. No, wait... it’s awesome. A lot of people think it’s cool, so why start another science blog?

To explain I’ll tell a story. Recently I attended a high school reunion, and got to talking with some of the seemingly smart people, and it really struck me at how uninformed they were about science. I was half way through my Honours year in Environmental Science at that point, and some of the topics I thought of as common knowledge, these guys didn’t know the first thing about. In the five years since we had graduated, it seems any science these people had learned had escaped them (at one point I was asked “what holds the planets up?”). It got me thinking, and I’ve decided, a couple of years down the track, to try to explain some science concepts and topics hopefully in language anyone can understand.

Is it really important to get these ideas across?

The short answer is yes. If you can understand what science is, it will help you in everyday life. As the great Carl Sagan said “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” I think that a greater understanding how science works, and critical thinking could help everyone in a lot of ways. A little skepticism about the claims of a used car salesman or real estate agent could literally save you thousands, and if you don’t take the homeopath’s word at face value, you could dodge a potentially serious medical condition.

So, that’s hopefully what I’m going to do. I’ll try to explain some sciencey concepts to help you understand how interesting it is. I’ll also try to give an idea of how science works, and how to do science with a healthy injection of critical thinking. Really, anyone can do science, and we should all be interested in how the world works.

Onward, to the first topic!

PS, if there is anythong you would like me to explain, please email me!

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