Learning Sciences of Change

Learning Change Project: +6600 Posts

Posts Tagged ‘science

The New Science of Mind and the Future of Knowledge

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Understanding mental processes in biological terms makes available insights from the new science of the mind to explore connections between philosophy, psychology, the social sciences, the humanities, and studies of disorders of mind. In this perspective we examine how these linkages might be forged and how the new science of the mind might serve as an inspiration for further exploration.

We have seen in this essay four specific areas in which the new science of the mind is particularly well positioned to enrich our understanding of other areas of knowledge. We have seen its potential as an intellectual force and a font of new knowledge that is likely to bring about a new dialog between the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. This dialog could help us understand better the mechanisms in the brain that make creativity possible, whether in art, the sciences, or the humanities, and thus open up a new dimension in intellectual history. In addition, an enriched understanding of the brain is needed to guide public policy. Particularly promising areas are the cognitive and emotional development of infants, the improvement of teaching methods, and the evaluation of decisions. But perhaps the greatest consequence for public policy is the impact that brain science and its engagement with other disciplines is likely to have on the structure of the social universe as we know it.

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Written by learningchange

July 6, 2014 at 10:21 pm

The Science of the Individual

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Human behavior is remarkably variable. It changes systematically over time, and it fluctuates moment-to-moment depending on the immediate context. If this kind of individual variability is ignored or marginalized, it acts asnoise disguising the dynamic nature of individual behavior and growth, and it will often mislead researchers. In contrast, starting with a focus on individual variability, rather than statistical averages, leads to new, elegant explanations for the richness of behavior, including models and methods for analyzing variability over time and across contexts. These concepts and tools help more closely align theory, research, and practice, and give us the best opportunity to develop usable knowledge about the complex and variable ways that individuals behave, learn, and grow.

Our goal is to establish a science of the individual, grounded in dynamic systems, and focused on the analysis of  individual variability. Our argument is that individuals behave, learn, and develop in distinctive ways, showing patterns of variability that are not captured by models based on statistical averages. As such, any meaningful attempt to develop a science of the individual necessarily begins with an account of the individual variability that is pervasive in all aspects of behavior, and at all levels of analysis. Using examples from fields as diverse as education and medicine, we show how starting with individual variability, not statistical averages, helped researchers discover two sources of ordered variability — pathways and contexts — that have implications for theory, research, and practice in multiple disciplines. We conclude by discussing three broad challenges—data, models, and the nature of science—that must be addressed to ensure that the science of the individual reaches its full potential.

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Written by learningchange

July 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

Posted in Individual, Science

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Useful Search Engines for Science

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Students of the past spent most of their academic time in the library, pouring over encyclopedias, and sifting through pages of data. It’s easy to get lost in a text-heavy reference book, amidst numbers and figures; this is especially true for science majors, whose art and skill revolves around specific numbers and very precise information. Fortunately for today’s scientist, much of the information that was once found only inside the walls of a library is now available online. These awesome science search engines will help you find what exactly what you’re looking for, as well as remind you how much fun research can really be.

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Written by learningchange

May 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

Posted in Research, Science, Search

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Convergence – facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond

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Convergence is an approach to problem solving that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. It integrates knowledge, tools, and ways of thinking from life and health sciences, physical, mathematical, and computational sciences, engineering disciplines, and beyond to form a comprehensive synthetic framework for tackling scientific and societal challenges that exist at the interfaces of multiple fields. By merging these diverse areas of expertise in a network of partnerships, convergence stimulates innovation from basic science discovery to translational application. It provides fertile ground for new collaborations that engage stakeholders and partners not only from academia, but also from national laboratories, industry, clinical settings, and funding bodies. The concept of convergence as represented in this report is thus meant to capture two closely relatedbut distinct properties: the convergence of expertise necessary to address a set of research problems, and the formation of the web of partnerships involved in supporting such scientific investigations and enabling the resulting advances to be translated into new forms of innovation and new products.

Many institutions are interested in how they can better facilitate convergent research. Despite the presence of established models, however, cultural and institutional roadblocks can still slow the creation of self-sustaining ecosystems of convergence. Institutions often have little guidance on how to establish effective programs, what challenges they might encounter, and what strategies other organizations have used to solve the problems that arise. The present study was undertaken to address this gap. It aims to explore mechanisms used by organizations and programs to support convergent research and provide informed guidance for the community.

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Written by learningchange

May 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Mapping social responsibility in science

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The vast majority of scientists want their research to be of use to society. They just disagree on how much society should interfere with what it is they study, and how they carry out their research,” says Glerup, who is working on a PhD project on scientific sociology at the Copenhagen Business School. Her research has shown that there are two different ideologies when it comes to research and public utility in the scientific community:

  • An ideology of internal control – the researchers know how the world works, so they are in a good position to find out how it should be. Therefore, they are ideally placed to judge about the public utility of their research.
  • An ideology of external control – social actors, such as politicians and organisations, know what is best for society, and this makes them ideally placed to determine what research should be done and how.

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Written by learningchange

April 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Quelles Synergies Sciences-Société pour Demain?

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Parce qu’elles visent à placer la recherche au cœur des enjeux les plus contemporains, les Rencontres Université–Société sont articulées autour de quatre thèmes faisant écho à la demande sociale : 1) Bien-être, handicap et santé; 2) Développement et durabilité; 3)  Qualité de vie et travail; 4) Art, culture, société. Universitaires, acteurs socio-économiques et culturels, grands témoins et médias ont proposé une restitution des travaux réalisés dans le cadre des ateliers et ont engagé la discussion avec le public à travers 4 tables rondes et un débat final.

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Written by learningchange

April 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Posted in Science, Society

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Science et opinion : une relation au regard de l’histoire

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La science aurait-elle l’opinion qu’elle mérite ? Y aurait-il deux mondes, celui des experts et des savants, et celui du commun des mortels. L’histoire longue de la confrontation entre la science et le public est une leçon éclairante sur les sentiments ambivalents que ce monde scientifique produit. Perçue comme sérieuse, hermétique ou aventureuse, menaçante ou bien rassurante, la science reste souvent pour l’homme de la rue une tour d’ivoire toute puissante qui fait autorité. Elle est productrice de certitudes, mais dans le même temps, le scientifique apparaît comme un chercheur qui doute et dont l’esprit critique est une caractéristique. D’un côté le dogmatisme, de l’autre l’esprit critique ! Et l’opinion publique dans tout cela ? D’un côté, il y a ceux qui savent et peuvent émettre des vérités scientifiques, et de l’autre ceux qui ne savent pas et doivent croire sur parole, faire confiance. Mais la montée en puissance de la société civile, capable de s’opposer, ne remet-elle pas en question ce rapport entre “science et opinion” au regard de l’Histoire ? Avec Bernadette Bensaude Vincent, professeure d’histoire et philosophie des sciences à l’université Paris X.

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Written by learningchange

March 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Population, Science

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Einstein reads ‘The Common Language of Science’

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Here’s an extraordinary recording of Albert Einstein from the fall of 1941, reading a full-length essay in English. The essay is called “The Common Language of Science.” It was recorded in September of 1941 as a radio address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The recording was apparently made in America, as Einstein never returned to Europe after emigrating from Germany in 1933. Einstein begins by sketching a brief outline of the development of language, before exploring the connection between language and thinking. “Is there no thinking without the use of language,” asks Einstein, “namely in concepts and concept-combinations for which words need not necessarily come to mind? Has not every one of us struggled for words although the connection between ‘things’ was already clear?”

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Written by learningchange

March 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Einstein, Science

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