The movie CONTACT (en.wikipedia.org) is one of my all-time favorites. It explores many topics in a wonderful and elegant way. Among many topics, it explores the loving relationship between a father and his daughter as he guides her towards exploring the grand universe around us, and with it science.
The article I read on www.guardian.co.uk this week, feels like the exact opposite, and a slap in the face to what encouragement towards science should be all about.
Follow the below suggestions and your daughter propably WONT become a famous astronomer, not even a fictional one.
So I read a tiny article in the Guardian this week that really got to me. The Guardian post "Girls and science: why the gender gap exists and what to do about it" starts off promising, then quickly dives off into a condescending and monotone listing of "How To suggestions on how to fix up your daughter's brain to survive in a 'scientific' world".
I am not sure if it was lazy writing, or maybe instructions by the editor to write the article in the fashionable bullet-pointed list that's common on some articles like ( "7 ways to make your daughter smarter before breakfast"), and I know the short blog format is useful, but in this case it really doesn't work:
"Make your domestic scenario more mathematic and scientific. Shopping is filled with math problems, particularly if your daughter wants something that is too expensive"
"Cooking, especially following a recipe, uses both math and science: Weighing, measuring and timing are all mathematical exercises. Baking in particular, where the action of X on Y causes Z, is a scientific activity. If you encourage your daughter to experiment in the kitchen, she will be more comfortable experimenting at school."
"Never tell her the answer. Ever. The point of math is not so much to get the answer but to figure out how to get it."
Why does the article bother me? Do you want to teach your daughter to be a robot that knows calculus? The article does not touch on creating the sense of wonder and amazement about science and the world around us. Scientists question the world around them. Why? How? Make your child ask questions, and encourage curiosity and exploration.Continue
The response to our whale stranding database www.WhaleStrandingIndonesia.com has been overwhelming. The days after launch, we received emails from scientists around the world interested in our methods and future of the stranding sites.
As it turns out there has been interest in much of the Pacific and Indian ocean to develop a cohesive stranding database, but progress has been slow across the region, as it usually starts off with a national initiative which limits regional cooperation somewhat.
"After a long hike I stood on the summit of Mount Kinabalu, I felt that I accomplished something special. But even that day is nothing compared to any moment on the beach, releasing terrapin and green turtle hatchlings into the wild, to give them a chance to fight for life."
Ee Phin has been active in conservation in Malaysia for over 5 years, working with non-governmental organisations (i.e. www.wwf.org and www.wcs.org) on conservation projects for Malaysian tigers, terrapins and green turtles, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Research at University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (www.nottingham.edu.my)
"Anyone who dares to stand up and goes for what they believe in, who chases down their dream, those are the people I most admire."
Stefan is a passionate science advocate, with particular interest in computational biology, neuroscience and linguistics:
"Our family is one of chemists and engineers, and I was inspired early by my grandparents to explore the natural world and books on astronomy, science and biology."
Living in South East Asia, a melting pot of cultures and religions, has challenged Stefan’s original ideas of finding simple solutions to today’s problems. “ I think Sam Harris is onto something big (www.samharris.org) in his ideas on Science and Morality. People are complicated, and it’s about approaches in discussing science that respects them”.