COSMOS

Recently I saw Cosmos for the first time - on YouTube.
It was pretty enjoyable overall, but some episodes were far more interesting than others, IMO.
Does anyone think it won’t speak to today’s science inclined youth, or what? Personally, I think it won’t win over any non-fans of science; but, many science minded kids today will likely get a kick out of it.

Personally, I think it won’t win over any non-fans of science;
Well, it MIGHT, but I think it depends on the person and whether or not they're open to any such challenges in the first place. Carl Sagan was a popularizer of science and he tended to be looked down on by the ivory tower types. A pity since science NEEDS to be popularized and promoted by people who can explain it in down to earth terms if it's to gain any respectability. It was like Harry Truman once explained to somebody when he pointed to an ordinary citizen out on the streets that it was the common man you had to appeal to. A valid observation and one which goes way beyond politricks.

IMO Cosmos is the single greatest science documentary ever made. And I think its ongoing, worldwide popularity some three decades or more after it first broadcast attests to that. Very little if any of the info there is dated.
It’s also available for free on Hulu.

The thing is there are so many areas of SCIENCE.
I like the Connections series by James Burke better than Cosmos but I like both of them.
But maybe Connections speaks more to engineering than science though I don’t think they are as separate as this culture promotes them. You don’t land robots on Mars to do science without engineering.
I confess to beginning to get bored with exo-planets. OK, there is a really cool planet 800 lightyears away. So let’s make the connections in physics to figure out how to get to 20% of light speed and not finding more planets that we can’t get to.
Also we need more “average” people to get a better understanding of science instead of just cherry picking the kids that would be good at science if they can be found.
http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/science-knowledge/
That is pathetic!
psik

Also we need more "average" people to get a better understanding of science instead of just cherry picking the kids that would be good at science if they can be found.
I think that this will continue to improve as we slowly chip away at the cultural baggage that conflicts with learning good science. You know, Creationism and stuff.
I think that this will continue to improve as we slowly chip away at the cultural baggage that conflicts with learning good science. You know, Creationism and stuff.
Cosmos is one of the best if not THE best science documentary ever produced and it's still topical. We watched it with our kids and they were fascinated by every show in the series. My wife bought me the companion book which I still read, and it led me to Sagan's other books starting with "Dragons of Eden". It is being used in classrooms today as a visual adjunct to the text. Our science department uses some of the segments when teaching evolution. It answers a lot of questions for the students and poses a few too! Miss the hell out of Sagan. Tyson's pretty good though. Cap't Jack
Miss the hell out of Sagan. Tyson's pretty good though.
+1. Fortunately Ann Druyan (Sagan's widow) and Tyson are pretty close friends.

The thing is there are so many areas of SCIENCE. I like the Connections series by James Burke better than Cosmos but I like both of them. But maybe Connections speaks more to engineering than science though I don't think they are as separate as this culture promotes them. You don't land robots on Mars to do science without engineering. I confess to beginning to get bored with exo-planets. OK, there is a really cool planet 800 lightyears away. So let's make the connections in physics to figure out how to get to 20% of light speed and not finding more planets that we can't get to. Also we need more "average" people to get a better understanding of science instead of just cherry picking the kids that would be good at science if they can be found. http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/science-knowledge/ That is pathetic! psik
The quiz is pathetic, or the research findings are?
The thing is there are so many areas of SCIENCE. I like the Connections series by James Burke better than Cosmos but I like both of them. But maybe Connections speaks more to engineering than science though I don't think they are as separate as this culture promotes them. You don't land robots on Mars to do science without engineering. I confess to beginning to get bored with exo-planets. OK, there is a really cool planet 800 lightyears away. So let's make the connections in physics to figure out how to get to 20% of light speed and not finding more planets that we can't get to. Also we need more "average" people to get a better understanding of science instead of just cherry picking the kids that would be good at science if they can be found. http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/science-knowledge/ That is pathetic! psik
The quiz is pathetic, or the research findings are? You failed the test?
The thing is there are so many areas of SCIENCE. I like the Connections series by James Burke better than Cosmos but I like both of them. But maybe Connections speaks more to engineering than science though I don't think they are as separate as this culture promotes them. You don't land robots on Mars to do science without engineering. I confess to beginning to get bored with exo-planets. OK, there is a really cool planet 800 lightyears away. So let's make the connections in physics to figure out how to get to 20% of light speed and not finding more planets that we can't get to. Also we need more "average" people to get a better understanding of science instead of just cherry picking the kids that would be good at science if they can be found. http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/science-knowledge/ That is pathetic! psik
The quiz is pathetic, or the research findings are? You failed the test?I kicked it's a*s, but the questions are very easy - even for someone like me, who has only a rudimentary understanding of most science.
I kicked it’s a*s, but the questions are very easy - even for someone like me, who has only a rudimentary understanding of most science.
I aced it myself. What's unsettling is that in doing so, I did better then 93% of the American population. This tells us something about scientific education in this country, and it's not good.
The quiz is pathetic, or the research findings are?
Well the quiz is pathetic in that it is so easy, but considering how badly so many people score a better quiz would just show more of the same. psik
I aced it myself. What’s unsettling is that in doing so, I did better then 93% of the American population. This tells us something about scientific education in this country, and it’s not good.
Same here but as to education, the emphasis is on reading and math with science as third on the list. We DO need more science classes in public education and not restrained BTW by factors such as religion or budget. Every school needs competent teachers and well stocked labs for all forms of science ed from k-12. Every fifth grader should be able to ace the quiz! If you want a shock, just ask the man on the street to define photosynthesis, then wait for some very interesting answers. Cap't Jack
Same here but as to education, the emphasis is on reading and math with science as third on the list.
That is what is so weird. All this talk about reading and I can't recall any teachers suggesting a book I liked in grade school. But once I discovered science fiction I couldn't stop, But some people were saying this in the 1950s. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/sce.3730430106/abstract Teach science and then include the math when it helps with the science. The trouble is with European culture. Math was part of education for the rich before they were teaching any real science. So we still have math as a separate subject. psik
Teach science and then include the math when it helps with the science. The trouble is with European culture. Math was part of education for the rich before they were teaching any real science. So we still have math as a separate subject. psik
I agree that the pendulum needs to swing in this direction. Although, there is some of the very basic math that necessarily comes really early: memorizing addition/subtraction/multiplication/etc., teaching the basics of variables, and so on. But good scientific thinking is much much more foundational than good mathematical thinking to leading a good productive life for most people.
Teach science and then include the math when it helps with the science. The trouble is with European culture. Math was part of education for the rich before they were teaching any real science. So we still have math as a separate subject.
Slowly but surely curriculum coordinators are catching on to the concept of inclusion, i.e. incorporating all of the subjects, math and reading in science, science in literature (fiction, I use scifi in literature classes e.g. Wells's"Time Machine") and in social studies. The problem lies in the state mandated tests. State boards of Ed. create standard cookie cutter curriculum to prep students for "real World" jobs and the entire curriculum is planned around this concept, so who needs astronomy, government, music, art, foreign language, basic drafting, life skills (used to be called home ec.) in short, the electives. The standard now is basic skills, reading, writing, math, and science. Cutbacks in state funding may eliminate the non-standard courses in the future. As I've mentioned many times here, government classes have been cut to a semester, that is 18 weeks of instruction before we send those potential voters out into the World. Cap't Jack

Just came across this post on Coyne’s blog about Tyson going crazy]. I especially agree with one of the posters in the comments section:

Hmmm…not sure it’s fair comparing Tyson, an enthusiastically entertaining popularizer of astronomy, with Sagan, the greatest poet of the Twentieth Century. A current leading candidate for the title of greatest poet of the Twenty-First Century was on that stage next to Tyson — I refer to Richard, of course — but, even then, it’s hard to choose between the two. Sagan’s poetry was more Baroquely elegant, while Richard’s cuts closer to the bone.
Just came across this post on Coyne’s blog about Tyson going crazy. I especially agree with one of the posters in the comments section: Hmmm…not sure it’s fair comparing Tyson, an enthusiastically entertaining popularizer of astronomy, with Sagan, the greatest poet of the Twentieth Century. A current leading candidate for the title of greatest poet of the Twenty-First Century was on that stage next to Tyson — I refer to Richard, of course — but, even then, it’s hard to choose between the two. Sagan’s poetry was more Baroquely elegant, while Richard’s cuts closer to the bone.
Maybe I'n dead from the neck up but I don't see Tyson "going crazy" in the video! Passionate, yes and attempting to make a point, became flustered and had an emotional outburst. The fact is that we WANT to believe that space exploration is entirely motivated by a sense of exploration; I get that. It's much more nobler than admitting that there's profit to be made from spin off products, not to mention personal fame and grant money(especially if the project succeeds) to rely on for the next project. I could go into more detail but will leave it at that for now. And as to Tyson filling Sagan's spot, I meant as a scientist popularizing astrophysics. No one will ever be a Carl Sagan. He was uniquely inspiring in many ways and verrrrry personable. You feel like the guy was in your living room having a beer and a chat. And as much as I personally admire Dawkins (if that's who he's talking about, my assumption because I saw him in the dais) for his intellect and courage, he can be abrasive to the layman; Dawkins lays it on the line. Besides Tyson was double teamed when Nye grabbed him while the other guy punched him in the stomach! Can't we all get along? Cap't Jack

I just don’t like loud people and Tyson is loud. He often reminds me of those crazy preachers.