Why do most people find science boring?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Magical Realist, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. river

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    9,793
    Not always

    Depends on who

    And in what is and not accepted

    Depends on the reasoning and then the following logic
     
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  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    the point i was trying to make is that a post high school education is not a requirement to be a scientist.
    there have been many people who have made a valuable contribution to science without one.
    this, by no means, is saying a formal education is worthless.
     
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  5. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    Name anyone in this category who has done so in the last forty years.
     
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    i can't think of anyone within the last 40 years.
    are you implying there never was, or that a post high school education is a requirement to be a scientist?
     
  8. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    I am pointing out to you the history of scientific investigation. When the sum total of human knowledge was limited, when guilds still held sway over technology, when these were being overturned by the industrial revolution, then it was possible for people to make an impact on science without a conventional education - in part because what we think of as a conventional education did not exist. (Recall that most naturalists (read scientists) in Darwin's time were minister's of the church.) While a university education was not necessary to be a scientist it would now be so vanishingly rare as to be unimportant.

    I deliberately chose forty years and not fifty years as my time frame in order to exclude Dame Jane Goodall. But even in her case, before embarking on her work in the Gombe Stream Reserve, she spent time in London being taught about primate behaviour and anatomy by Osman Hill and John Napier respectively. i.e. She received an informal university education.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Dictionary.com gives several reasonable definitions:
    • 1. An expert in science, especially a physical or natural science, as opposed to a soft science such as psychology or economics.
    • 2. Someone who studies science.
    • 3. Someone who practices science.
    • 4. Someone who uses the scientific method or its principles.
     
  10. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Science isn't fun it is difficult and takes a different mindset than most people have.
     
  11. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    4,098
    Science is fun and the difficult part is good exercise for the brain.
     
  12. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    Many? Name one over the last fifty years. A valuable contribution to science. Everybody making valuable contributions to science has acquired the scholarship from somewhere outside their initial ignorance. Folks work hard to acquire the scholarship so they can contribute to the literature. Your comment is ignorant.
     
  13. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    is a post HS education necessary for any of the above?
    1. for example, does anyone need a post HS education to become an expert on science?
    or to study science?
    3 and 4 , well almost anyone that diagnosis a problem is "practicing science" and is using "the method", whether they realize it or not.

    it kind of seems like someone wants to separate scientists from the common man.
    a person can only speculate as to a reason.
     
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    you will notice that i specifically said "post HS education", NOT no education.
    the REAL requirements for science is an insatiable thirst for truth and knowledge.
     
  15. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    9,232
    Of course I noted that you said "post high school education". That is specifically why I addressed post high school education, and asked you to name anyone in the last forty years who had become a successful scientist without a post high school education, and why I noted that one possible exception, Dame Jane, actually had a post high school education, though not a formal one. Do you actually read what other people post?

    And still you have failed to identify any one who has made it as a scientist in the last forty years without a post high school education. Will you do so now, or concede you are farting in the wind?
     
  16. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    i have answered your question, post 44
    no, i'm not going to say a post HS education is needed to be a scientist.
    rant, rave, roll on the floor, and shit down your leg all you want.
     
  17. river

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    9,793
    People find science boring because most people are about relationships among people , especially nowadays

    To bad really

    The media , TV , newspapers , magazines , sports , smart phones , internet , twitter , texts etc.

    Have done a wonderful job of dumbing us down
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    21,647
    Some truth in that actually. Most people, as long as they can afford their three square meals a day, and have a beer or go down to the beach or play golf, would rather leave the technical, learned stuff, that helps to put those three square meals on the table, or help to make our beaches safe, or to enable us to score the lowest possible score in golf, to others proficient in those fields.
    I had an old school mate tell me at a reunion dinner a couple of years ago, when I did broach the subject, that the Sun was just a very hot piece of rock in the sky.

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    When I informed him that the Sun like all stars, is a giant nuclear fusion reactor, he was taken aback somewhat, but then quite quickly got stuck back into his Schooner and wasn't too concerned, until I told him that one day its fuel would run out. I waited until he was on his eighth Schooner, before I told him it won't be for about 3 or 4 billion years.

    I suppose it could also be likened to the average woman, [and some men] with a car. As long as it gets them from A to B, they are not too worried about how or why and generally need to be reminded that it does need servicing.
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    21,647

    yes, as informative and as chock full of knowledge as the Internet is, there is also plenty of crap and shit.
    That's why the scientific methodology and peer review is held in high regard...It sorts that shit out from the good stuff.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Maybe 500 years ago! On the other hand, I'm sure that Archimedes, Pythagoras, William of Ockham, Fibonacci, Galileo, Laplace and Newton were tutored by scholars during their youth, and read everything they could find on the subject.
     
  21. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    17,455
    what are the advantages of a post HS education in regards to science?
    there are 2 i can think of:
    1. it helps to prevent "reinventing the wheel"
    2. it gives you more opportunities to make better advancements. this is possibly related to 1 above.

    the question is one of requirements, what is required.
    a post HS education is an advantage, not a requirement.
    a dumbass with a Phd is still a dumbass.
    a gifted man without an education at all is still gifted.

    don't get me wrong, i am by no means saying a post HS education is worthless, i am simply saying it isn't a requirement for a person to be a scientist.
     
  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,664
    In the last century or so, possession of an earned doctorate has kind of become an employment requirement for researchers in academic, government and corporate laboratories. It's part of the on-going institutionalization of science.

    This, btw, is part of the reason why so much of the general public finds science, if not boring, at least alien and intimidating. It's just too far removed from where most people find themselves in life. To even get a foot in the door of institutionalized science, an interested layperson would have to devote something like ten years to often grueling university preparation.

    Prior to the 19th century, the Ph.D. degree awarded on the basis of a research dissertation didn't exist. Many universities didn't even have science departments and didn't award degrees in the subject. Most university graduates were satisfied with bachelors degrees and these were typically in liberal arts subjects like history or classics.

    The 18th and prior centuries were the great age of amateurism in science. It was actually stylish for educated laypeople to conduct experiments. We see that with people like Benjamin Franklin. After dinner, families would clear away the dirty plates and pull out prisms and pendulums. Wealthy landowners would construct telescopes in their backyards and observe the heavens. If young people were really serious about studying science professionally, they would find a prominent researcher in their field and apprentice themselves to him.

    So yeah, many of the iconic names in the earlier centuries of science would be considered amateurs by todays' standards.

    I guess that even today, their descendants still exist, in the form of amateur astronomers, naturalists and geologists. Amateurs still produce some valuable work, counting birds in wildlife refuges or discovering new comets.
     
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Don't neglect citizen science projects. Hanny's Voorwerp was discovered by a school teacher, and green pea galaxies were discovered by people who thought "Hey, that's odd" and started discussing it on a forum not that dissimilar to this one (but without much of the silliness that seems to go on in Sciforums).
     

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