News & Views item - October 2013



Science's Current and Immediate Past Editor-in-Chief Introduce "Science in the Classroom (SitC)". (October 18, 2013)

Marcia McNutt,  Editor-in-Chief of Science, and Bruce Alberts, Chancellor's Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education, University of California, San Francisco, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Science in the editorial for the  October 18, 2013 issue of  Science "Science Demystified" introduce "a new resource from science for exposing pre-college and university students to the nature of science as a fascinating and powerful way of knowing about the world" and they kick off citing J. B. Conant's, Science and Common Sense (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT, 1951):


 Being well informed about science is not the same thing as understanding science…What is needed is methods for importing some knowledge of the tactics and strategy of science to those who are not scientists.


Professors Alberts and McNutt continue: "Our new initiative, Science in the Classroom (SitC), is designed to help demystify how scientists build a basis for understanding the world. It is freely available ( as a resource to enable more effective teaching and understanding of the sciences... SitC has been designed to help every educated person attain an understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge by reading at least one scientific paper before he or she completes school... initially a small set of published science research papers has been posted. Each publication includes a set of tools to facilitate student exploration and understanding. A “Learning Lens” tool highlights and clarifies special vocabulary, for example, and figures are deconstructed into parts that are annotated with explanations, as well as with questions for students to ponder. Many of the authors' references are annotated so that students can follow how scientists build on previous scientific findings.


"[A]n abbreviated version of each paper is presented in parallel with the full university version. SitC also connects users to the Science Education Portal, where a great deal of other Science content relating to science education is freely available."


Currently six papers are listed on the Website (see below) and the expectations is that "future publications will expand both the topics and disciplines covered, giving teachers a large range of subject matter from which to choose".


Stated simply the object of the initiative?  "[To] illustrate general points about the way that science is done and the nature of scientific communication".



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