This is an interesting interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, writer/producer Ann Druyan, and Cosmos Studio president Mitchell Cannold about the new series Cosmos 2014. I am very much looking forward to this series, and it is very much time to make a new Cosmos, and entirely appropriate to do so.
I pretty much agree with everything they say, and I especially like the fact that cosmos 2014 is being produced in part as a reaction to three decades of anti-science activism and propaganda.
I was very disappointed with one thing Ann Druyan said. She made the unqualified (and undocumented) claim that science is taught very poorly and therefore nobody gets it. I wish the world was so simple. In many, many instances science is taught as well as it can be given the resources available to science teachers. Vicariously through my wife, a high school science teacher, directly through my own guest appearances in various science classes, and as an oft-time teacher of college introductory classes, I know that many kids get turned on to science in high school, and not because they suffer a “grueling and horrendous experience” as Ann Druyan labels it. Science teaching in this country is under assault from the very anti-science forces that she claims, quite correctly, abound. Tossing science teaching under the buss wholesale is not helpful. Neil also speaks of how horrible science education is, and he has valid points, but he refers mainly to public science communication and TV documentaries, etc. Which does, indeed, mostly suck.
Ironic that this is a FOX news corp production. But then again, so are most of the National Geographic specials.