I am going to be doing something a bit new. I am scheduled to graduate in December 08 and I have a senior Capstone Project to do and I thought it would be fun, as well as therapeutic, to blog about it.
First, a description of my project (from the formal proposal):
“In July 2007, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds announced that the former Homestake Gold Mine in Lead,
There have been successful partnerships between large laboratories before, notably FermiLab in
· What does it take, on the part of a laboratory or research institution, for a successful partnership with local schools?
· What does it take, on the part of local schools, for a successful partnership with the laboratory or research institution?
· To what extent does a community’s understanding of, and attitudes towards, the methods and findings of science affect the success of such partnerships?
Fundamental research is often conducted at public expense and justifying this expense to citizens is difficult to do if those same citizens believe that evidence-based inquiry into fundamental questions threaten their most basic beliefs. If the
I was particularly chagrined by the 2006 abortion battle and could not help but ask myself if accomplished, enlightened scientists would want to pack themselves and their families off to such socially and culturally provincial place. Had the state government even considered how the work done at the lab (i.e. fundamental physics, cosmology, and evolutionary biology of deep underground life) would be received by South Dakotans—given that it runs counter to the religious world view of a sizable part of the state’s citizens? On a humorous note, I pictured a Monty Python or Mel Brooks-type mob storming the DUSEL with torches and pitchforks to put an end to their godless quest to understand the laws governing the universe.
I have a lot of research yet to do on the subject and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the thorough treatment of evolution in the local high school science curriculum when I recently had the opportunity to look it over. I do still want to find out if the Rapid City Area Schools (hereafter abbreviated RCAS) allows students to “opt out” of certain parts of the standard curriculum if their parents have objections to the standard curriculum.
Stay tuned for more…
Miller, Jon D., et al. "Science Communication: Public Acceptance of Evolution." Science 313.5788 (2006): 765-66.