Archives for March 2007

Uncertainty and Global Warming: Using the Nature of Science to Deny and Cast Doubt on a Robust Scientific Theory

In their NYTimes article, Material Shows Weakening Of Climate Change Reports, Andrew C. Revkin and Matthew L. Wald reported on recently released House committee (Oversight and Government Reform) documents that indicated that a White House official edited goverment climate reports to play up uncertainty of the human role in global warming. The key word here […]

How Many Scientists Does It Take?

In today’s NYTimes, Thomas Friedman posted an article entitled How Many Scientists?which was a wonderful play on words about climate change. As Friedman points out, and as we have said on this blog, more than 1000 scientists have read and agree to the Intergovernmental’s Report on Climate Change published in February. How many more scientists […]

Views of Global Warming and Climate Change

Last week I wrote several entries on the topic of global warming, and most recently on legislation at the Federal level related to global warming. Is the Earth warming? According climate change scientists, the answer is yes, as shown in the graph below. However, making policy changes, as we have discussed here in this blog, […]

Global Warming Legislation

Two days ago, Al Gore addressed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the Senate Committee where legislation could direct the US on a course to join the rest of the world in realizing the crisis that is represented by global warming. In January a bill was introduced into the committee dealing […]

Gentle Subversives: Rachel Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey

Yesterday I used the theme “Meeting of Minds”to focus on the US Congress and its hearing with Al Gore. Today, I would like to play this out one step further, and suggest how the members of the Congressional committees that are responsible for environmental issues and legislation might be informed by two great minds, each […]

Meeting of the Minds on Global Warming: The US Congress, Al Gore, and John P. Holdren

Years ago, Steve Allen, of TV fame, created a program entitled Meeting of the Minds. He would bring together historical figures such as Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Shakespeare for discussions among themselves of important topics. So here in Washington today we witness the meeting of the minds of Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress to […]

Innovative Middle School Science Teaching

Last week, The New York Times had a feature article on middle school teaching entitled, “For Teachers, Middle School Is Test of Wills.” The article featured a courageous and outstanding teacher, Corinne Kaufman, who teaches mathematics to middle school students at Seth Low, a large middle school in Bensonhurst, NY. The article also discussed the […]

Why Cooperative Learning Should Be Natural in Science Teaching

One of the major pedagogical strategies used in schools is the didactic approach in which the teacher delivers the content for the students to learn. Yet, didactic strategies have raised more questions than the benefits of this direct teaching model. Instead, over the past 20 years this old model of teaching has been replaced by […]

The Anthropocene Geological Epoch & Global Warming

A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read […]

The Anthropocene Geological Epoch & Global Warming

A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read […]

Carbon Emission Leaders

For thousands of years, the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere remained around 275 parts per million, but as seen in the graph below, that value started to increase in the mid-19th century, and then steeply increased to the year 2000 and beyond. This increase has been attributed to the industrial revolution which started […]

Britain, the European Union and Global Warming

Yesterday I wrote about truth and global warming, and indicated that science does not result in truth, it results in hypotheses and theories, which could be used to inform legislation, and action by governments and citizens. Two days ago, the British government announced that it has proposed laws that will enforce steep cuts in carbon […]

Teaching The Truth About Global Warming

Teaching Truth. That’s the problem when we discuss and debate the scientific topic of global warming. As Tim Flannery points out, science is about hypotheses (and I would add theories), not truth. One of the long term problems in science teaching is helping students understand the nature of scientific research, and how science develops theories […]

Oldest Solar Observatory in the Americas

Yesterday I wrote about a new column that will appear in the New York Times, Across the Universe, and the anticipation of some very interesting discoveries by astrophysics about stars and galaxies, and what’s out there. Then today, in the same newspaper comes a story (that had been released on NPR earlier in the month) […]

Around the Universe: A Resource for Science Teachers

The New York Times has launched a new column, Across the Universe featuring Sir Patrick Moore, Brian May and Chris Lintott. This will be an outstanding resource for teachers, grades 3 – 12. Moore has been the host of “The Sky at Night,” a monthly TV show on BBC, for 50 years. Yes, that’s right. […]

Reform in Science Teaching, What Does Research Tell Us? Look to a New Cadre'

This issue (March, 2007) of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching had two articles that investigated the effects of science education reform in the United States. The first of the two studies, Can professional development make the vision of the standards a reality? The impact of the national science foundation’s local systemic change through […]

Reform in Science Teaching, What Does Research Tell Us? Look to a New Cadre’

This issue (March, 2007) of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching had two articles that investigated the effects of science education reform in the United States. The first of the two studies, Can professional development make the vision of the standards a reality? The impact of the national science foundation’s local systemic change through […]

Science Teaching Research Around the World: Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

I recently became acquainted with a relatively “young” journal of research devoted to helping us understand science teaching: The Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (EJSMT). EJSMTE has its headquarters in Turkey. It’s editor, Hüseyin BAG, is professor at Pamukkale Universitesi, TURKEY, and the Associate Editor, Mehmet Fatih TASAR, is professor at Gazi […]

Pancakes and Global Warming

Now this is a stretch isn’t it! Pancakes and global warming. You don’t have to worry, pancakes will be around, even with the Earth heating up. But, what about maple syrup? Is global warming effecting maple trees in Vermont? Well, there was an article in the New York Times entitled Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of […]

Warmer Winter in the UK and Europe

I was reading a report today on the BBC website entitled Winter ‘second warmest on record’. It was referring to winter in the UK. In fact, the five warmest winters in UK history were in the last five years. What interested me was the reference to the Hadley Centre Central England Temperature (HadCET). The HadCET […]