Big Bang strategy would make science 'more fun'
THE SCIENTIST whose work on antimatter provided the plot for Dan Brown’s bestseller Angels and Demons believes Ireland can carve out its economic recovery by changing the way science is taught in schools.
Dr Rolf Landua, head of education and public outreach at the nuclear research centre Cern, on the French-Swiss border, said science needed to become a “more fun subject” in schools in order to get teenagers interested.
Dr Landua, who opened the Accelerating Science exhibition at the Galway Science and Technology Festival yesterday, said science teaching needed to deal with the Big Bang theory and other topics of interest to teenagers.
He said science fiction movies and books and films like Angels and Demons were a great help in developing interest in a new way of teaching science.
“Science is a live thing. It is not a dead thing which people have dealt with 300 years ago, people with beards who have written down a formula and now you have to learn this formula by heart in order to solve some sort of exam question.
“This is a completely stupid approach in my view because you just force children to learn a few irrelevant things, or at least irrelevant to them at that point.
“You can’t continue to teach science in a historical, chronological order when it seems to be completely disconnected from our daily world.
“I’ve founded an education outreach group at Cern to bring in more sexy topics, like black holes, to the European school curricula. Teachers agree the way they currently teach physics is boring and want to know how to do it better,” he said.
Cern’s exhibition Accelerating Science runs for seven weeks; see eventelephant.com/galwayscience