A City with Science?
Personal wellness & economic health

Wellness demands brain work as well as muscle work.  We stay healthier if we exercise both mind and body. 

Scientific illiteracy is endemic in the U.S.  To too many, science is a kind of magic seemingly lying beyond human powers, at least "beyond my powers."

It needn't be.

Science teaching itself has recently become more scientific and has given its teachers some real power to help their students discover magic in science.  That discovery is fabulous fun, too. 

Any city which has a scientifically literate people will improve its economic wellness because modern industry is looking for that city.  Modern industry needs scientifically literate people, and those people want good science in their children's schools.

How can we help Portland become that city?

Science rests on a foundation of several principles that often evade understanding.  For example: Advertising, our most prevalent use of communication, uses information in ways opposite to, and often inimical to, science.  Searching for disconfirmations is the prime rule in science; convincing that the slightest bit of confirming evidence is sufficient to believe what we want to believe is the way of advertising.  And, science is usually abstract knowledge, but abstraction is usually understood to be "not real." That's a sure sign that the substance of the science was "not seen."  Furthermore, the abstract principle often shows the seer that something, though widely believed, could not possibly be.  Impossibility happens!(?)

Science fairs in the schools can get understanding to our society at an early age.  Here is an opportunity to turn young people into magicians--that is, able to apply those principles which so often seem "beyond human powers."  That's science.
Lillie and Paul's science fair at Bridlemile
Sound education
Puzzles that demonstrate impossibility

What is logically wrong with this drawing? 1500 or so   Copernicus
A shock to our ego- (and anthropo-) centrism.  The universe is bigger than we are and we aren't the center of it all -- and there's much more than meets our eye.
Study Newton's laws of motion from a river raft trip. 1685   Newton
Enter mathematics -- a "fourth level of abstraction" -- and just a bit beyond easy human reach.
Entropy has many facets -- waste products being most salient. 1865  The thermodynamicists.
We begin to understand something we've called "energy" since the time of Aristotle -- and it turned out to be a lot more convoluted than we had expected.
You can find magic in places you never hought to look. 1890 - 1906   Maxwell - Einstein
The stuff in the atom that gives lightning its zap behaves in ways that really stretches the human intellect.
Five levels of abstraction -- perception to magic 1920  The quantum mechanikers
Wow!  How weird can it get.  We discover how limited are our evolved perceptions and reasoning skills.  We must invent new kinds of math, and it leads us to magic that seems permanently beyond human powers.
Information is the currency of human interaction with the world. Today   Computers -- Windows and Apples
Our brains get some real help -- in some ways, anyway.  But thinking is more important than ever.

Think about it...