The National Academy of Sciences Wants To Hear From You

By Carl Zimmer | December 19, 2008 1:08 pm

The National Academy of Sciences has a survey they’d like people to fill out to help them figure out what kinds of educational materials about science, engineering, and medicine they should publish in print and on the web.

I just took it, and can assure you it’s quick and painless. And along the way they pointed me to some pdf’s that look helpful.

Update: In case my linking above wasn’t clear, here’s the survey.


Comments (7)

  1. Having worked in analytical labs for 30 years, I have concluded that science has been reduced to poorly understood “models” which at best are wild guesses about a particular subject. The most worrysome are the climate models which attempt to explain a system which is so complicated that there is no way to account for all the variables that need to be included in the models. I have the distinct feeling the some of the folks have an agenda and are not really interested in the truth. I call them “Chicken Littles”. I happen to believe that this earth is a lot more robust than we give it credit for.

  2. Although I think the survey could be more detailed, I think it is really informative about what in science today interests the public. The fact that Energy is the cause of most concern isn’t surprising, but I think it is surprising that space exploraiton is of more interest than healthcare costs, biodiversity and extinction, ocean health, and so many others. Even though I am actually quite interested and supportive of space exploration, I wonder why so many people find it such a high priority?
    Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

  3. cyrano

    Where’s the link to take the poll? I went to the Academy site and still had no success.

  4. Paul Donnelly

    Brian, I suspect a combination of selection bias and the large number of options. Respondents weren’t asked to rank their selections, so all we know is that Space Science and Exploration is in many people’s top five. The options ranked just under it are education and a whole bunch of bio stuff that I could see certain segments of the population either not being interested in or being against. It’s easy for a generally well-liked field to beat out a controversial one, even if most respondents are most passionate about another area of research.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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