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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Well, Jeez, I guess we can all just pack it up and go home now

Courtesy of Science Based Medicine.

A timely development, given that
U.S. Health Care Ranked Worst in the Developed World

The U.S. health care system has been subject to heated debate over the past decade, but one thing that has remained consistent is the level of performance, which has been ranked as the worst among industrialized nations for the fifth time, according to the 2014 Commonwealth Fund survey 2014. The U.K. ranked best with Switzerland following a close second…

Although the U.S. has the most expensive health care system in the world, the nation ranks lowest in terms of “efficiency, equity and outcomes,” according to the report. One of the most piercing revelations is that the high rate of expenditure for insurance is not commensurate to the satisfaction of patients or quality of service. High out-of-pocket costs and gaps in coverage “undermine efforts in the U.S. to improve care coordination,” the report summarized…
Donald Trump, Oct 2016 rally in Florida
Yeah, right. Of course.

Speaking of "science," a new book review is up in AAAS Science Magazine.

Compared with reading, writing, and arithmetic, science is a relative newcomer to the primary and secondary school curriculum, emerging only in the late 19th century. Nevertheless, proponents of the subject have established it as central to what an educated person needs to know, not least because of the promise of good jobs in scientific fields.

Even if nearly every school district in the United States now treats it as a required subject, there has been almost no consensus on what science classes should entail. Some have claimed that the subject should be taught as a single methodology, presenting the scientific method as a fixed number of discrete steps. Others emphasize it as a disparate collection of techniques—some inductive, others deductive, and divided up into specific disciplinary approaches. Teachers have disagreed on whether it is best taught through textbooks or laboratory experiments, as a set of conclusions and facts, or as a mode of inquiry. Most contemporary scientists would agree that there is no single method for doing science, but beyond that, there has not been much to agree on…
I've not gotten to this one yet. Totally burrowed into two books on "Game Theory" at the moment.


I now have a hardbound copy of Dr. Rudolph's new book (cited above), courtesy of the the author. I've been skulking around his website, finding therein a motherload of cool stuff (albeit paywalled) going to my KHIT interests. e.g.,
What Do We Mean by Science Education for Civic Engagement?
John L. Rudolph and Shusaku Horibe

Accepted 16 November 2015

Abstract: One of the most frequently cited goals for science education over the years has been to provide students with the understanding and skills necessary to engage in science-related civic issues.
Despite the repeated insistence on the importance of this kind of democratic participation, there has been little effort in the research community either to define just what science-related civic engagement entails or to ask whether the research or practices in the field are suited to accomplishing this goal. In this paper we take a step toward this end by offering a precise definition of science-related civic engagement drawing on work from the fields of philosophy and political theory. We argue that such engagement can be found in instances requiring both the use and production of scientific knowledge and examine the various avenues of that engagement. We then explore some implications such a definition might have for thinking about science education research and practice.

© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 53: 805–820, 2016
Keywords: civic engagement; democratic participation; science-related social issues

Most educators, policy makers, and researchers with even a passing interest in science education would agree that a central goal of teaching science is to prepare young people to deal with science-related issues they are likely to encounter in their lives as citizens. Explicit references to this civic goal are found nearly everywhere. In their landmark statement of scientific literacy, Science for All Americans (1989), Rutherford and Ahlgren, for instance, insist that science education should equip people to “participate thoughtfully with fellow citizens in building and protecting a society that is open, decent, and vital” (p. xiii). Nearly two decades later, we find policy documents making the same connection between science education and its value in civic settings. In the National Academy report Taking Science to School (2007), the ability to “know, use, and interpret scientific explanations” and “generate and evaluate scientific evidence and explanations” are among the key “strands of proficiency” necessary for individuals to “participate in society as educated citizens”…

An Inconvenient Truth About Science Education
by John L. Rudolph - February 09, 2007

The teaching of global warming is emerging as a hot-button issue in U.S. schools. One district has begun to treat the subject as something akin to evolutionary biology—a subject some feel is more conjecture than scientific fact. This raises important questions about how well science education in this country has prepared the public to deal with the science behind the leading socioscientific issues of our time. More content isn’t the answer. What’s needed is greater attention to how science is actually done in all its variety.
The first speaks to "Deliberation Science." The latter goes to "Anthropocene Global Warming Denial."

Stay tuned.
BTW, I continue to work my way through two books on "game theory," as I noted above--one of them highly mathematical, the other more prose logic-oriented. I'm reminded of one of our old musician jokes: "Q: Do you read music? A: Not well enough to hurt my playing."  Equivalently, "Q: Do you know game theory? A: Not well enough to get in the way of my reasoning skills."
"All models are wrong. Some models are useful." - George Box


Back when I was working for the HealthInsight REC ("Meaningful Use" program) I routinely bit the hand that fed me when I felt it was warranted. Among other irreverent things, I posted a spoof "Certified EHR" site I called "Clinic Monkey" (tangentially riffing on Survey Monkey, which we used all the time).
When I put it up I embedded "under the hood" an mp3 autoplay endless loop file of ambulance sirens and jungle critters screeching and yacking, for comic effect. No longer works in Safari. I think it's an html thing, no longer supporting the old legacy "embed code." Whatever. It was funny.
One morning I got to the office and found a toy set of simian "office workers" on my chair. One of my colleagues had bought it for me. A Clinic Monkey admirer, no doubt.

Off to the garage I go forthwith after work.

BobbyG's on-the-fly Dollar Store photoshoot cyc.

Yeah, I have an Attitude. One frowned upon by the Really Serious (and snark-challenged) People. It's OK to lighten up.

More to come...

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