Thursday, May 5, 2011

Science Progress

A couple of FB friends have posted links to articles on Science Progress in the past couple of days, so I figured they're worth passing along here.
  1. The first article covers elementary school teachers and the crisis in STEM education:
    Prospective teachers can typically obtain a license to teach elementary school without taking a rigorous college-level STEM class such as calculus, statistics, or chemistry, and without demonstrating a solid grasp of mathematics knowledge, scientific knowledge, or the nature of scientific inquiry. This is not a recipe for ensuring that students have successful early experiences with math and science, or for generating the curiosity and confidence in these topics that students need to pursue careers in STEM fields.
  2. The second covers data driven vs hypothesis driven research:
    the change in approach is this: Instead of designing an experiment to test a defined, preconceived hypothesis, researchers first amass large banks of information and then wade through them with the aid of powerful computers to unearth biologically pertinent findings.
  3. I'll add a third article, to make this a nicely numbered list. "Waves of Innovation" discusses innovation cycles:
    In As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution, a seminal work in cliometrics—the study of economic history—Chris Freeman and Francisco Louçã use historical data on technological advances, economic structure, salaries, and political unrest to derive a clear pattern linking innovation to the performance of the economy. These generational cycles of invention, expansion, and depression are called “Kondratiev waves” in honor of Nikolai Kondratiev, the Russian economist who first postulated their existence.