Why do most people find science boring?

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

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    In the greater scheme of things river ol son, peer review and the scientific method are the reasons why you are here today, and the reason why science has the great strides it has.
    It exists, and will continue to exist.
    It sorts the wheat from the chaff....Sorry about that.

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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    People have limited time to put into personal interests, and most people aren't scientists. A lot of people aren't interested in science, but that's not the same as saying they necessarily find it boring. The same could be said for arts or sport.

    The only reason that anybody could find science to be irrelevant to their daily life is that they are ignorant of its profound influence on their daily life. And that is not an uncommon form of ignorance.

    As for science being abstract... I think that most interesting scientific advances can be explained in such a way that a non-specialist can get some idea of what was done, but it does require some attention and thought from both the scientists/journalists and the intended audience. Having said that, science is now a very specialised field. Most scientists are true experts only in a very narrow sub-discipline. What they do is generally complicated and "abstract" unless you have the education to understand the field yourself (and most people don't). But the same could be said about economics, poetry writing, rock climbing or singing (all at the professional level, of course).
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  5. river

    The teacher and the prof. Of science can make all the difference between indifference or being engaged in the science
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  7. Sylvester Registered Senior Member

    I think it is more like this plane of existence.

    For example: Yes, I have told many "there is no such thing as a black hole."

    But that is YOUR fantasy and have at it. ...that is YOUR fantasy.

    Yes, I was amongst the first to tell any mofo on the internet that...hey, guess what???

    Black holes DO NOT exist! and this dude in the wheelchair is playing with himself and what did I get for this NOTHING.

    And no...no...I di not forget that.

    My knowledge means nothing? Do you know how you treated me? I just don't know how I can forget *(forgive) this.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  8. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Science was the only class i ever liked... but that was just 1 year in the 7th grade... grate teecher... never paddled people or talked down to us... he had our respect.!!!
  9. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    It's not boring you just gotta be intelligent to it. People are still dying, I guess one thing it can do is prove something monumental for us and then take the credit in nature. Believers have us imagining, now we need our knower-doers to prove our believers. That's nature. Some people sing, and some people dance.
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    That actually just about conveys the truth of the matter.
    As a layman I have always been enthralled with the cosmological sciences, without having the learning or expertise to understand it to its full meaning.
    Finally around 35, 40 years ago I took things into my own hands and started to read reputable material on such things, starting from the more basic information specifically printed for lay people, progressing to books such as Hawking's BHoT, Paul Davis's "Superforce", and as my understanding matured to books such as Thorne's BH's and Time Warps, along the way finding forums such as the now defunct ABC's Science forum and a couple of others.

    Over the last few years at my annual old boys reunions, I am known for getting the subject matter around to space, cosmology etc. The reactions to my knowledge [as still limited as that is] to their ears is amazing. I have many questions fired back at me, [thankfully up until now, I have been able to answer all] re BH's the BB, "It's only a theory" type of remark etc.

    My ex school mates are obviously in awe and quite taken aback by our present knowledge of space, astronomy, Cosmology, GR etc, but as James has said they are into other things, and as yet, have not got the fire in their bellies to take it any further.
    But I can say categorically, that the interest from them has become so pronounced, that now I do not have to take any "lead" into scientific discussions. It is done for me.
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I have often complained about the communication skills of scientists. Most of them can only make themselves understood well with other scientists. They often are simply not good communicators, so when trying to talk to (or write for) laymen, they lose us.

    However, Climate-Gate brought this to the attention of the profession. The entire affair was brought about by laymen trying to read things scientists had written for each other and were never meant to be understood by people outside the profession--and misunderstanding them.

    Today there is a significant movement to improve scientific communication. Speaking and writing courses are becoming mandatory in science degree programs.

    In addition, the scientists who happen to be the good communicators are being enticed to become speakers, writers and editors. Carl Sagan was an inspiration, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is carrying his torch.
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Agreed...I would add Brian Cox to that pair also.
    cosmictotem likes this.
  13. Jake Arave Ethologist Registered Senior Member

    T.V. is about revenue - they make more money and have higher viewership with their current model. It's not about the public being disinterested in science, it's that science isn't as entertaining as fictitious programming.
  14. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    My own hypothesis of why is that most people don't realize they are struggling with addictions that distract them from being curious about the world and universe they live in.

    If you look at the general population, you can see large chunks forming in groups that are just obsessed with specific activities that are either addictive vices or turn into vices that are addictive and distracting.

    Those addictions and distractions can be: Drugs, Sex, Food, Gambling, Fame, Sports, Materialism, Consumerism, Religion, Money, Star Struck Romantic Fantasy, Violence, etc.

    And sure enough, when you look around you at the people who show no interest in Science, they seem to be in the grips of one or more of those addictions and can't stop.

    Science is competing with all these addictions and obsessions.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  15. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Those who find science & mathematics boring do not know much about either subject.

    My father was a engineer who subscribed to Scientific American. I have read SciAm almost every month since circa 1939-1940 when I was 9-10 years old. For several years, there were many articles which I did not have the background to understand. However, there were quite a few that interested me, especially those by Martin Gardner who wrote a mathematical games column every month for decades.

    Due to my father & the SciAm articles, I majored in mathematics & took several physics courses. I found both disciplines very interesting, especially mathematics.

    On several occasions, I have sent memos to my liberal arts college suggesting that they develop courses for those with very little knowledge of these subjects. As far as I know they never did offer such a course.
  16. river

    Tesla would have made science impelling
  17. Motor Daddy Valued Senior Member

    People tend to gravitate towards pleasure. It's uncomfortable for people to think, so a lot of them simply avoid it at all costs. On the other hand, being entertained...now that is easy!! and funny! and effortless! (rolls eyes)
    sculptor likes this.
  18. river

    And some don't want to read the full story either

    They just " google it " and figure that the " whole story " is there

    This is wrong of course , but there you go
  19. firdroirich A friend of The Friends Registered Senior Member

    Maybe more content than bored. They have no "need" for it. By this I mean that everything we rely on daily to 'just work' actually took some people, in many disciplines, a lot of time to discover.
    Problem is, can the accumulation of all this hard work have made many people too comfortable to keep the rate of discoveries high enough to mitigate stagnation?

    Maybe there is no problem in this - after all, it has always been the few who seem to save us in the nick of time. But as problems become increasingly more challenging, it would be in the interest of a civilisation which classes itself as being in the 'information age' to get more people into science and discovery.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Most scientists are not good communicators. They're boring and difficult to understand, so this makes people not want to listen to them or read their articles. Even the best of them tend to be rather dry. People like Carl Sagan and Neil Degrasse Tyson, who can make science interesting (or even fascinating) are rare--and highly successful.

    This problem is finally getting attention. Science courses now include writing classes, and lecturers are expected to be somewhat less soporific than they were in my college days (the 1960s).
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Agreed.....Just add another to that list...a young pommie bloke by the name of Brian Cox.

  22. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i submit that anyone that correctly deduces a solution to a problem is just as much a "scientist" as one that holds 15 PhDs.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Well, someone who deduces a solution to a problem, implements that solution, tests it and validates that it is a real solution.

    This forum is full of people who claim "I have correctly deduced all sorts of things and Einstein is WRONG!" That's not much of a scientist.

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