Helen Palmer (nice_cup_of_tea) wrote,
Helen Palmer

My Science Education continues...

My formal science education finished at 16 when I took my GCSEs in Physics and Biology, my Chemistry knowledge (such as it is) ended at 14. I have always considered myself well-educated, but must confess that my scientific intelligence is very sadly lacking.

I came across a wonderful talk on Ted, about how science lessons should be made more understandable. The speaker, Tyler DeWitt, argues that science communication needs to be better targeted to the audience. He talks about the "cult of seriousness" and the "tyranny of precision". Scientific information must be communicated in an appropriately serious way and it must be 100% accurate, even if both these things mean that nobody grasps the basic idea. I fear this maybe true of communication in all academic / professional circles. We communicate in such a way, so as to keep others out.

His main messages are relevant to any act of communication, or education. Know your audience and target your message appropriately! Get the basic message across in an understandable way, then once someone understands the basic principle, you can explain the exceptions and detailed information. He finishes his Ted talk with this: Make me Laugh, make me care, get to the point. How shall I start? "Listen, let me tell you a story"

I then discovered his videos on YouTube - they are genius and I am already feeling better informed, having learnt today about the differences between molecular and ionic compounds. He uses great metaphors and examples, simple but effective graphics and talks with humour and passion. Genius.

Wish I had had a chemistry teacher like him - would certainly have kept up with the subject. (*embarrassing confession* - i took physics at GCSE because I had a mad crush on the physics teacher, who then left and I had two years with a hopeless teacher who made me hate the subject!)
Tags: learning&development

  • Baby, Baby

    I found in Christmas cards, that 2 close friends are both 3 months pregnant and expecting in June, and to be honest, it's knocked me for six a little…

  • A Bit Confused in Zürich

    I’m having a confusing and miserable couple of weeks at the moment in Zurich, a lot of things have happened recently, not least Mike’s death in…

  • Feeling Happy in Zürich

    I feel like I’ve turned a corner in my life. For the first time in ages, and I mean ages, I feel happy and contented. We’re settled in Zurich in our…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.