The 21st century science educators
Luis Escutin National High School, Dao, Capiz
I THINK one of the most highly evolving educators in history is not only the history educators but also the science educators. Unlike math and English that have fixed grammatical system or perfect tenses of verbs, science evolves, dramatically sometimes at the turn of century.
In the period 1700-1900, kings and empires rose and fell, but science conquered all, taking the world by storm. Yet, as the 1700s began, the mysteries of the universe were pondered by “natural philosophers” – the term “scientist” didn’t even exist until the mid-19th century – whose explanations couldn’t help but be influenced by the religious thought and political and social contexts that shaped their world.
The radical ideas of the Enlightenment were especially important and influential. The work of natural philosophers prepared the way for the more familiar world of science we recognize today.
To navigate this complex a mix of social factors and scientific knowledge requires a teacher of very specialized background. Before, teachers were trained as a mathematician and seminarian before receiving a doctorate of scientific history. Professor Frederick Gregory was one of those who brought an unusually apt perspective to science. It was at a time when the church’s influences on science were often profound.
If you are going to move back and forth across 20th and 21st centuries, the lectures touch on many of the scientific disciplines we know today, including chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, paleontology, and others. And they often cover in detail famous experiments and discoveries in areas as divergent as electromagnetism, fossil analysis, and medicine.
You will find names that leap out as familiar, like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur, Max Planck, Antoine Lavoisier, and Albert Einstein. And you will meet some of the greatest names in the histories of non-scientific disciplines. These include thinkers as diverse as Immanuel Kant, Johann von Goethe, Herbert Spencer, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Paine, to name a few. All of them entered the fray to leave their mark on the annals of scientific inquiry.
But you will also learn about others within this fledgling scientific community whom you may never have encountered before. Do you know about Nicolas Malebranche, Jakob Moleschott, Robert Chambers, Abraham Werner, William Whewell, or a remarkable