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Breakthrough Prize Looks to Stars to Shine on Science

Movie stars. Red carpet. Awards. It’s a familiar script. Except that the event here on Sunday night was far from New York and Hollywood, and the boldfaced names were gathered not to celebrate movies or music, but life sciences, physics and mathematics. The idea behind the Breakthrough Prize is that if scientists are viewed as celebrities — as cool as movie and rock stars — then more young students will…

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New book from National Academies on improving undergrad science ed

The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate and engage students will improve their learning. So how do students best learn science and engineering? Are there ways of thinking that hinder or help their learning process? Which teaching strategies are most effective in developing their…

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8 Logical Fallacies That Fuel Anti-Science Sentiments

We’ve never been more dependent on science. At the same time, however, we’ve never been more certain about its ability to help us understand and transform the world. But there are many out there who still distrust science and wish to discredit it at every turn, whether it be anti-vaxxers and climate change denialists, or simply those who wish to preserve their religious or paranormal beliefs.  Trouble is, many of…

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Colleges Reinvent Classes to Keep More Students in Science

Max Whittaker for The New York Times Hundreds of students fill the seats, but the lecture hall stays quiet enough for everyone to hear each cough and crumpling piece of paper. The instructor speaks from a podium for nearly the entire 80 minutes. Most students take notes. Some scan the Internet. A few doze. In a nearby hall, an instructor, Catherine Uvarov, peppers students with questions and presses them to…

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Is science the new faith?

This is the 12th and last in a series of interviews about religion that I am conducting for The Stone. The interviewee for this installment is Daniel Garber, a professor of philosophy at Princeton University, specializing in philosophy and science in the period of Galileo and Newton. In a week or two, I’ll conclude with a wrap-up column on the series. Gary Gutting: In the 17th century most philosophers were…

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Do History of Science programs need more science?

The history of science has never had the easiest stories to tell. A field suspended between the two cultures, it’s been contested territory for as long as it has existed: rife with clattering jargon, methodological skirmishes, and ideological warfare. Although it entered academe as science’s explanatory sidekick, over the past few decades the history of science has emerged a full-fledged discipline, drawing practitioners mostly from the humanities. But this independence,…

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President honors exemplary math and science teachers

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza Teachers know something about snow days. A snow and ice storm hit Washington, D.C., as about 100 science and mathematics teachers arrived here on March 2. The next day, they traveled by Metro and by foot through heavy snow to the White House, where they met with the President, the pinnacle of a three-day visit to the nation’s capital. They are winners of…

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Report shows new trends in PhDs

The National Science Foundation recently released a report titled Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2012, unveiling important trends in U.S. doctoral education. The American system of doctoral education is widely considered to be among the world’s best, as evidenced by the large and growing number of international students who choose to pursue doctoral degrees at U.S. universities each year. Many of these students are among the top students in their…

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