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Joan Lee <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 4 Aug 2008 06:45:53 -0400
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Do people, students, in other countries think science is not 
interesting? Has that attitude in this country been influenced by our 
strong history of anti-intellectualism? Is our current pedagogy highly 
oriented away from science (fact and experiment) or the "what we learn" 
approach and instead is under the "how we learn" approach? On the same 
side of the coin most of our teacher education in this country is on 
how to teach, not what to teach, so we have fewer teachers who are 
truly proficient in subject matter.  Or is this popular myth and 
children are innately tuned into passivity as a learning method? (I 
don't believe that. I believe that the emphasis of schools, with too 
few exceptions, is control and conformity, not inquiry and 
experimentation and subject matter. That makes teaching easier.)

I do agree with the idea, "So why linger in the past?" but one must 
keep in mind that it is the past that has in great part created or 
influenced our present ideas and behaviors. Technological innovation is 
quick, it seems to me, but it takes a while for our beliefs and 
thoughts to catch up.

This thread is fascinating and I am learning a lot. I am eager to see 
what topic you finally settle upon. One thing for sure, we are blessed 
to have you in the science illustration profession. Joan

On Aug 4, 2008, at 3:33 AM, Mieke Roth wrote:

> Suzan wrote:
> As for your topic for research for a PhD......I suggest narrow, narrow 
> narrow.....the history of science illustration is WAY too big. I 
> suggest you choose your passion and find a niche within that world of 
> visualization!
>  good luck~
> Hi Suzan and the rest,
> Narrowing it down is the thing I am looking for, hence the question on 
> this list. The tread that evolved from my question and especially the 
> part Chuck initiated helped me a lot with that. But.. what I am 
> surprised at is that automatically is assumed that I am pursuing to do 
> research into science illustration history. I know that it seems the 
> obvious choice, but the work that we do is now more alive than ever 
> before I think. So why linger in the past? On the other hand it is 
> still a profession that is mainly build up out of the skills of 
> individual craftsmen, with the emphasis on individual, and I miss 
> going into the depth of the profession itself. For this profession we 
> have more tools at hand than for journalism, for example, so it could 
> be doable to do real up to date and applied research on this field.
> So...
> I want to do something with the perception people have of visual 
> communication about scientific subjects, how it can evolve in the 
> coming decades and what I can do to help by developing tools. For me 
> it is way more interesting to see how people react on scientific 
> illustration, and to do research on what is effective in communicating 
> scientific subject, than it is to dive into the history of our 
> profession. One big question I for example have is why most people 
> think science isn't interesting, what is the opposite of what I am 
> thinking, especially since you can visualize science, especially 
> natural and technical science, on so many different levels. If I am 
> able to get an answer on that question with the research I do, I have 
> accompliced a great deal I think. That field is still way too big 
> right now, so I have to narrow that down, but it isn't even near 
> science illustration history.
> Sorry for this seemingly strong reaction because I do have to thank 
> you also: all the reactions help me distinguishing what I do want from 
> what I don't want!
> Mieke