By: Bryan Moyers
Edited by: David Mertz, Shweta Ramdas, Scott Barolo, Kevin Boehnke
Why haven’t we cured cancer? Physicians have known about cancer for over 5000 years, and the United States spends nearly $5 billion per year on cancer research. But there’s still no cure. Also, where is our clean, renewable energy? We can’t even catch half the energy in sunlight, and solar panels don’t come cheap! Why don’t we have a moon colony yet or a male birth control pill?
In the U.S., science funding comes from many sources, including the taxpayers. As an example, half a percent of the federal budget goes to fund NASA, before considering all of the money that goes to the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the National Institutes of Health and other federal science organizations. It is reasonable that publicly-funded science should provide some benefit for the public, but it seems like there’s a lot of scientific research out there that’s not giving us the technologies and discoveries we want and need. So why do we throw money at projects that don’t seem to deliver?
Continue reading “Science behind the scenes: The costs and payoffs of science”
Author: Bryan Moyers
Content Editors: Christina Vallianatos, Molly Kozminsky
Senior Editor: Alisha John
“Well, that field isn’t really science.”
“Oh, that’s just a soft science.”
Most people who work in the sciences have probably heard phrases like these. Translation: that field is lesser. The physicists say it about everyone lower than them in the pecking order, as do the chemists, biologists, and so on down the line. The nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford famously said, “All science is either physics or stamp-collecting.” People argue about this at scientific conferences and in the media. The science and pop-culture webcomic xkcd has even parodied the issue.
Continue reading “Science behind-the-scenes: Which fields are “real sciences”?”
By Hillary Miller
Remember when “computers skills” meant you could type a certain number of words per minute while keeping your hands on the home row? Back in the early 2000’s, I took a keyboarding class where they taught us how to type and said, “You’re good!”. Looking back, though, there was so much more to learn. I don’t believe my teachers were intentionally withholding information about computers and all their uses, but additional training would have been useful later in life.
Continue reading “Coding in the classroom: The next generation of computer literacy”