How are we doing Ecology?

A couple of things have conspired to turn me away from a review and towards the reflection of a blog post! The first was the receipt of a potential review text titled “How to do Ecology” (Karban and Huntzinger, 2006); the rest comes from our BES Bulletin and following a few leads from the website.  For some reason, the text date didn’t become clear until I started because I normally only look at the most recent publications; the upside was […]

Valuing Assessment in Science Education

Rating: Deborah Corrigan, Richard Gunstone and Alister Jones. 2013. Valuing assessment in Science Education: pedagogy, curriculum, policy. Springer. ISBN 978 94 007 6667 9 “change in education is easy to propose, hard to implement and extraordinarily difficult to sustain: (p101).   One of the more pressing issues in modern education is the development of some form of assessment. The whole term has become laden with alternative meanings of which, the initial and simplest, is to explore the student’s understanding of […]

What would Einstein do?

  It really started with this article from the Guardian. Although it’s worth the read, the basic story is that a fake journal article was sent to hundreds of Open Access journals – the sort of place where you can publish without the strictures (often financial) of journals like Nature. The punch line is that far too many journals accepted what should have been seen as false. This set me thinking. What are the dimensions of this issue and how […]

Plus ça change…

Once more unto the breach?   I was drawn into considering the nature of curriculum reform when reading a recent BES blogpost looking at GCSE reform. The basic idea was that another round of reforms was on the way and consultation was afoot! What are you looking for in a science curriculum? In a way, it sounds almost biblical as Matriculation begat O levels and O levels begat GCSE and GSCE might (or again, might not) begat English Baccalaureate. Is […]

Sense about Science

Sense about Science – these days, it’s increasingly important to be able to develop critical thinking skills when faced with the barrage of information. There’s too much to do the old-fashioned review especially when people need a quick reaction. This site is a charity aimed at developing some critical thinking in the realm of science. Not only does it have a range of publications, it also highlights what can be done to promote useful skills.

Role-Playing Scenaros

Role-Playing Scenarios – another part of the massive Carleton University Geoscience Department’s offerings in geology learning, teaching and pedagogy. The  range of material in geoscience is impressive and even ideas such as these can be adapted to a range of teaching situations. This is a first-rate site worth exploring. To start looking at the whole site, go here.

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation is a US independent government agency founded in 1950 to promote science. This it does but it also has a great education programme with lots of useful links and science ideas. The best section seems to be Discoveries, but try the rest of the site.

Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History

Rating: Kristen St John, R Mark Leckie, Kate Pound, Megan Jones and Lawrence Krissek. 2012. Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978 1 1182 3294 1 Over the years there have been hundreds (probably thousands!) of books published on just about every topic in the climate change canon. Rarely, there’s a book that looks at something from a completely new angle. One of the issues that has surrounded climate change from the beginning is that it often assumes that the […]

A Consumer’s Guide to Archaeological Science

Rating: Mary E Malainey. 2012. A Consumer’s guide to Archaeological Science. Springer.  ISBN 978 1 4419 5703 0 The increasing complexity of environmental science requires an equally increased sophistication in the use of techniques and an understanding of the limitations. I think it would be fair to say that there are few archaeologists trained in environmental archaeology (and, analogously, the same would apply to most sciences/scientists). Each has their speciality but there is a need to know at least how […]

Science and Public Reason

Rating: Sheila Jasanoff. 2012. Science and Public Reason. Earthscan. ISBN 978 0 415 52486 5. It is doubtful if there has ever been a time when the discourse between the public, government and science has been more strained and yet more needed. One only has to look at the recent arguments over climate change and carbon taxes to see how complex issues are being played out in the public arena. Part of the response to this has been the increase […]