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Friday, August 22, 2008

Science things

Two items captured my interests this morning:

First this "News of the Week" item in Science:

Departments Scramble to Find Math Education Faculty
by Jeffrey Mervis

According to a recent survey, 60% of 128 tenure-track academic jobs advertised last year in mathematics education went unfilled. Although that may be good news for job-seekers, it's another impediment for universities trying to improve U.S. science and math education.

which is somewhat a surprise to me. I am wondering where those vacancies are and if they take a non-mathematician for volunteer.

Next this LA Times column by Joel Stein, talked about a science debate for the presidential candidates, which struck me as a very good idea. Here are the issues Stein suggested followed by my comments:
  • Stem cells: Yea, let's do the adult stem cells!
  • Evolution: OK, who started the whole thing in the first place?
  • Climate change: So what? Climate has been changing throughout the ages!
  • Healthcare: Nationalized it, right? Scheduled your needed emergency care right after you were born and get in line or else you will never able to get it.
  • Sex education: How about just the simple education first?
I don't know who this Stein guy is -- must be a typical drive-by kind to come up with these issues. But issues aside, I think American people would be better served to hear their visions and thinkings about science in the 21st century. Do they have any?

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