Education

Category archives for Education

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” -Oscar Wilde So Labor Day is this coming Monday, and that means the new school year is about to start. Whether you are or whether you know a young person, say in middle-or-high…

If you’ve ever heard someone dismiss evolution, the Big Bang or climate change as “just a theory” and wanted to pull your hair out, you’re not alone. In science, after all, theories are the most powerful ideas we have to explain the mechanism behind the most intricate observable phenomena in the Universe. But it’s where…

“Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.”  -Dan Quayle It wasn’t that long ago that I myself was a student, and of course over the past decade-and-a-half I’ve been very heavily involved in education — both formally and informally — at a huge variety of levels. And over time, education methods…

Should you get your PhD? (Synopsis)

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin It’s graduate school acceptance season, and many people out there have big decisions coming up. Some of you will have questions about where to go to graduate school, while some will have questions about whether to go to graduate school. For those of you in the latter…

What is Color? (Synopsis)

“You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” -Alan Alda Alan Alda recently challenged scientists to explain this simple question to 11-year-olds in less than 300 words. Could you do it?…

Weekend Diversion: Homeschoolers Anonymous

“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?” -Carl Sagan It’s a challenging thing,…

An Open Letter to all Men in Science

“‎Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” -John Stuart Mill No one becomes a master overnight, and practically no one does it without the outside help and support of not just a mentor, but of a number of peers, advisors and other allies along the…

Ask Ethan #1: Back-to-school advice

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” -Oscar Wilde As many of you know, last weekend I launched a suggestion box here on the site, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response: about fifty of you have sent something in to…

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” -Robert Frost Middle school — or junior high, which we called it when I went — should really be classified as a form of child abuse. I recognize that it isn’t as bad for everyone as it was for…

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” -Frederick Douglass I thought we were past this, I really did. Having grown up in New York, having lived in eight different states and traveled to 39…