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Thu Feb 5, 2015, 01:52 AM

When i was a child back in the early 60's, I used to take out

library books about the heroes of science:Jenner, Pasteur, Robert Koch, Walter Reed and of course, Jonas Salk.

When did those books become passe?

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Reply When i was a child back in the early 60's, I used to take out (Original post)
hedgehog Feb 2015 OP
olddots Feb 2015 #1
Warpy Feb 2015 #2
Sherman A1 Feb 2015 #4
Expat in Korea Feb 2015 #3
Hekate Feb 2015 #5
hedgehog Feb 2015 #6
lovemydog Feb 2015 #7
MineralMan Feb 2015 #8
hedgehog Feb 2015 #9
MineralMan Feb 2015 #13
Nay Feb 2015 #10
LWolf Feb 2015 #11
hedgehog Feb 2015 #12
LWolf Feb 2015 #20
Bluenorthwest Feb 2015 #14
LWolf Feb 2015 #19
closeupready Feb 2015 #16
closeupready Feb 2015 #15
Bluenorthwest Feb 2015 #17
Johonny Feb 2015 #18

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 01:58 AM

1. America became anti science in the 70s

 

and 80s during the Me/coke/woo/self help/materialistic Raygun years .Hope we we regain our quest for knowledge sometime ........

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Response to olddots (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 02:03 AM

2. Well, some of us never lost the interest.

I guess we'll have to write the children off and work on the grandchildren.

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Response to olddots (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 03:54 AM

4. I believe that was more the 1980's

when the self help and the "Esteemed" Mr. Reagan were passing across the landscape of history. It was truly an era of me......

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 02:52 AM

3. For me, it was

Encyclopedia Brittanica. I would spend hours and hours reading them in my g'mother's living room. I was a low-maintenance child. They included quite a bit about the lives of great scientists, too.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 03:55 AM

5. I did, too. My mom had this great book of biographies of scientists, and I loved it.

Had NO idea how to pronounce Van Leeuwenhoek! Can't remember the name of the book, but another one she had was Gods, Graves, and Scholars about the early archaeologists. I really liked reading about science and scientists.

One thing that happened with my own kids, to my sorrow, was that they never had the hours of free time I had as a kid, in which I could choose to read. I had to work full time, and they had to be in after school activities or with a sitter. There was just not that much unstructured time for them.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 04:23 AM

6. Not to mention homework!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 04:43 AM

7. The books may be passe but the science isn't.

There's plenty of kids studying science who know all those names. Of course, the more the better! They just don't read the heroes of science books. Well, maybe on kindles or whatever, lol.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:19 AM

8. Kids are still reading those books, and others.

I read them, too, in the 50s and 60s. Most kids I knew didn't, though. I doubt that much has changed in that regard. Most kids never read those books or any other books not assigned to them. A few kids, like you and me, read them because we wanted to read them. I don't think that will ever change.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:37 AM

9. I was wondering how much this change has to do with the entire anti-vaxxer

movement - not to mention the ignorance about how science works.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:47 AM

13. Most people have been ignorant of science for a very long time.

I don't expect that to change.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:37 AM

10. Very true. Most kids in the past 3 or 4 generations did not read a book unless

it was assigned to them. I read widely as a child and I do the same now that I am in my 60's. I realize it's not everyone's idea of fun, but frankly, the ignorance I've seen around me all my life makes me wish there were more widely-read people.

My son never was a big reader, but guess what? My grandson is. I get a second chance to share my love of books with a child. It melts my heart.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:38 AM

11. When I was a child back in the 60s,

I went through an abundant supply of library books every week. None of them were biographies, because biographies simply didn't interest me. Not then, and not now. The only biography I can ever remember reading as an elementary-aged kid was one on Ben Franklin. I did like that one, but I didn't pick it out. It was assigned.

I did, somehow, without checking out biographies, manage to learn science, including scientists throughout modern history. I never considered them heroes, though.

Probably because I simply don't value the concept of heroes, period.

Are you thinking that younger generations ought to be valuing biographies, or valuing science, or?

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Response to LWolf (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:44 AM

12. I think a lot of younger adults have no notion of what life was like

before vaccinations and before antibiotics. Without understanding all the wrong turns scientists take when looking for the truth, a lot of people have no understanding of how science works. Reading those biographies taught me both.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:03 AM

20. That's really an issue

much larger than biographies.

Most younger people have no notion of what life was like, ever, because the teaching of history has become negligible in the face of 15 years of high-stakes testing for reading and math. Young people can learn history through many formats, not just biography, if they are taught.

I know this, because I have been reprimanded for teaching "too much history" and not focusing on getting students ready for the high-stakes reading test. Not that reading about history isn't reading, but it's not some stupid scripted curriculum purchased and enforced to prove that we're teaching the standards that are tested, so it doesn't "count."

I have biographies in my classroom. We don't use them much. They are there as reference materials. My students spend more time with shorter articles and primary source documents.

Edited to add: the one book that we do read every year is Profiles in Courage/i]; students are somewhat interested because of what we're doing with it, but are always glad to move on when we're done.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 10:39 AM

14. Not reading biographies because you don't value 'heroes' is pretty limiting, bios of vile people and

 

of those who failed are highly useful. I love reading biography of people I do not respect in the slightest and even more, biographies of people in my own field who have make large errors along the way. Heroism has zip to do with it. Perhaps the greatest value in biographies of people who have accomplished admirable things is the lesson that 'greatness' is very often a result of one's own flaws and fears, that those figures are not 'heroes' but regular people in extraordinary circumstances.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 07:54 AM

19. That's not why I don't read them.

I don't read them because I yawn through them. Whether or not I value the concept of "heroes" is a different issue. There are plenty of people that I appreciate; they just don't tend to be public figures. They ARE "regular people" who quietly, without notice, live lives that serve others and make the world a better place.

I DO read articles about and by people. I DO know who historical figures are, and enough about them to be informed. I just don't get that information in biography format, which is not the only format to learn from, and my point.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 10:55 AM

16. I remember doing a book report on Thomas Edison as a child.

 

I still remember how much I enjoyed reading about him, and doing the book report. I enjoy reading some biographies, but I mostly read junk like mysteries and thrillers. Nonetheless, I read. Most people don't. At least, not for entertainment.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 10:53 AM

15. Learning is for sissies.

 

In America, that is.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 11:08 AM

17. I did the same thing, but it sure was not the mainstream thing back then.

 

What I remember about my age peers in grade school was that most of the boys thought only about sports and athletes. Few gave a rip about science and even fewer were interested in politics or world events, which were central subjects in my home life. They had, for the most part, very little idea of what was going on in the world. They knew about football, basketball and baseball, the fact that I did not care about those things made me an outlier, I was 10 years old and as passe as black and white tv.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 12:27 PM

18. They didn't but pseudo-science came back cloaked in the language of science pushing it into the mix

To the general public these new pseudo-sciences look like science, sounds like science, and uses the same language. They're not and the people that spread it know it. That's why they talk the way they do because it confuses people. They're information isn't new, it isn't proven to be sound, they're not science based, it often has been debunked soundly, they have an unmeasurable probability of being right, and they aren't out there to help you. If you like a good read I recommend

http://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Science-Road-Foolishness-Fraud/dp/0195147103

About how old garbage wormed its way back as "science." Sadly our media instead of being the gate keeper often loves pseudo-science and does a lot to propagate the myths rather than inform. It makes it rather hard on scientists.

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