In a world where championship sports teams are idolized and superstar athletes are feted by the media, it was gratifying to see science, students and teachers get their moment in the sun at the White House last week.
These kids are the same ones who are one day going to develop the next generation of household technologies, fuel efficient vehicles and, yes, medical breakthroughs that will change the way we live in the future. CIRM has been investing in high school, college and post-graduate students from the very beginning because we know that the next generation of stem cell therapies are going to come from our next generation of scientists, and so those scientists had better be well trained.
In his story Howard quoted director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City Neil deGrasse Tyson, who I think pretty much nailed it:
“What we should be talking about is how to keep kids interested and get out of their way as they learn.” … “Acts of curiosity are what make up acts of science,” he said. “Adult scientists are just kids who never grew up.”
It always bothers me when I hear people talking about trying to make science fun for kids. Trying? Who needs to try? Science experiments with kids are a blast. It’s nice to see that attitude on the national stage.