As an industrialized nation, we have all the benefits of modern science, but the same cannot be said of many of the nations of the world. How has modern science affected the way people live in the world’s industrialized nations? Do you think, on balance, these changes have been for the better, or are there costs to living with the discoveries and applications of modern science? Be specific, what aspects of modern scientific research do you feel benefits our society and which are risks whose consequences are not well known, and could produce tradeoffs that we may not want to live with?
By contrast, what are the consequences of not having an active science community or the benefits of modern science in developing nations?
Stakeholders, public personalities and even the media play a critical role in how public opinion is shaped with regards to scientific research and funding. How do we mediate against an undue influence on their part to achieve a balanced perspective?
Over the past two decades, America’s technological and science supremacy has eroded, and we are now lagging behind other industrialized nations including Japan, China, Britain, France and Germany. This comes at a critical juncture in an increasingly science and technology based world. Both our Congress and the new administration have called for the funding of science initiatives to draw more young people into the math and sciences to secure our future well-being as a nation, and that most decidedly includes our economic well-being. In order to do this, many like Dr. Seethaler have claimed that we need to change the way science is taught; retain the core principles of science needed for a broad understanding of how science works, but also make it applicable so that students understand the role of science in their lives, as well as their role in shaping the future direction of science. So as a stakeholder in our nation’s scientific endeavors, as a parent, a teacher or a private citizen, what would you most want our elementary and grade students to know and understand about science, what issues should they study, and how can we make that happen?