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TMS 2012: Young Leaders Award Lecture
March 11-15, 2012 • Orlando, FL

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Speaker: Michael Demkowicz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Location: TBA
Topic: Becoming a Better Scientist by Learning the History of Science


There is a gap in the typical curriculum of undergraduate and graduate education in science: although students are given extensive technical training in experimental and theoretical methods, they do not study the intellectual processes by which observations were interpreted to form theories. As a result, in addition to being poorly prepared to critically evaluate equally plausible alternative interpretations of scientific observations in their own work, they also lack the "big picture" perspective on the development of science that would help them plan their careers.

Furthermore, a scientist educated in the current curricula finds it difficult to defend scientific perspectives to skeptical non-scientists. I propose that this educational gap can be filled by making the history of science part of the typical science curriculum. In this talk, I will present several topics from the history of science that could serve as case studies to be incorporated into such a class.


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