The Role Of Science In Popular Culture
The problem with education is exams. When you’re forced to learn anything it takes all the fun out of it. Our natural curiosity is subverted and resentment can set in.
We ask ourselves, ‘Why are we learning this?’
The answer parents and teachers give us is that it will give us a better future.
While that may be true, setting young students on the path of equating self-worth with their bank balance and self-importance by their job title is not the best way for society to advance.
Search engines have given us access to knowledge but where will the wisdom come from?
In a recent interview with Cambridge Student Newspaper, Varsity.co.uk, comedian Stuart Lee muses, “What possible financial value is there in being a poet? The mark of a civilised culture is whether it places a value on knowledge and culture for their own sake, and the Government are saying they don’t.”
The idea of knowledge for its own sake is exactly what suffers as a result of constant exams.
Leaving the arts aside, when a core subject like Science becomes stressful for students then what chance does it have of becoming a lifelong learning adventure?
For Science, rekindling the desire to learn after our school days remains a difficult task.
It’s easy to name the best music blogs online, there’s just so many of them that really stand out from the crowd – Drowned in Sound, TwentyFourBit, and Popjustice to name a few.
It’s the same with sports blogs, with Backpage Football, Caught Offside, and Zonal Marking leading the way.
But what about science blogs?
The Twenty-First Floor
Especially nowadays when television shows from the likes of Professor Brian Cox are getting so much exposure. Has there ever been a blog that was clever, funny, and insightful, all while talking about science topics? Well, now there is. Step forward, The Twenty-First Floor.Regularly updated with a very accessible layout, the Twenty-First Floor is essential reading for anyone who just wants to know more.
Well-written and immaculately referenced, it’s something which will appeal to the everyman.
It’s not populated with convoluted science terms, and you’ll find yourself clicking through to other links just to find out more.
Science isn’t just the stuff you find in textbooks. It can be so much more interesting than that.
It’s not merely something you learn by rote to pass an exam or get yourself to college.
It’s about how everything works, and can be extremely interesting.
Especially when you’re in the hands of the Twenty First Floor crew.
With Wonders of the Solar System being watched by millions, and the Observer’s excellent Discovery section in its New Review supplement, there’s more science in popular culture than ever before. And with this blog, you now have something to visit that’s far more informative and interesting than looking at Wikipedia’s List of Paradoxes article.If you want to contribute to the discussion, there’s a wonderful forum, which even contains a sub-forum for off-topic banter.One of the recent popular topics in there was the Galileo-inspired subject of “Sunday Roasts”. Scientists are people too, you know?
If that’s not enough, and you feel you really have something to say, they also accept reader submissions, so you can write your own ground-breaking article!
The Twenty First Floor deserves to be boomarked as it’s essential daily reading.
Even after you leave school, you should still continue learning, and when something is as accessible and as readable as this blog, then you’ve no reason not to pay it a visit every now and then.
Who knows, you may learn something that you can casually slip into conversation to make you look like a genius in front of your mates.
Maybe they’ll consider publishing an article if you have something interesting to say.
The 21st Floor Science blog deserves a wider audience, check it out now.