Monday, August 15, 2011


WERNHER VON BRAUN ON EDUCATION, 1912 — 1977, (Father of the American Space Program):

“…The average citizen today, of course, has far more scientific information at his disposal than did those greatest of intellects of earlier times. Yet paradoxically, I think that THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A GREATER NEED FOR INCREASED UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF SCIENCE. It has been said that, although the choice of direction for our civilization will be determined through democratic process, it is there that the problem begins. TO MAKE RATIONAL CHOICES, THE AVERAGE CITIZEN MUST UNDERSTAND THE NATURE AND ROLE OF SCIENCE AT A TIME WHEN ITS BREADTH AND COMPLEXITY ARE INCREASING ALMOST EXPONENTIALLY .... Conversely, the scientist, at a time when he can barely keep up to date in his specialty, must not isolate himself in his parochial interest. Instead, he should see his profession as a part of the larger world, to evaluate himself and his work in relation to all forces, especially the humanities, which shape and advance society. THE NEED, THEN, IS FOR AN EDUCATIONAL PROCESS RESULTING IN MORE SCIENTIFIC LITERACY FOR THE LAYMAN, AND MORE LITERACY IN THE HUMANITIES FOR THE SCIENTISTS .... Man in this scientific age is free only to the extent that he has a grasp on himself and his surroundings. FREEDOM — THE ABILITY TO SPEAK, THINK, ACT, AND VOTE INTELLIGENTLY — is based largely on our ability TO MAKE CHOICES growing out of our understanding of the issues involved. With each advance of science, there is an invitation to more understanding. This is the essence of the burden borne by all peoples since the dawn of humanity. There must be widespread understanding of the role of science in modern society, both as to its limits and our dependence on its basic function as a tool for our survival. This is the imperative for scientific literacy .... How do we encourage scientific literacy? I THINK THE PROBLEM IS HOW TO INSTILL IN STUDENTS A PERMANENT DESIRE TO LEARN. All youth is endowed with curiosity from the very beginning. What can education process do, not only to keep this natural curiosity alive, but to make it a permanent part of the individual drive? .…” 

Source: http://goo.gl/zvSV7


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