The Myth of Scientific Literacy

If you are among the many high school and college chemistry teachers who have adopted the American Chemical Society's curricula, Chemistry in Context for college students or Chemistry in the Community (ChemCom) in secondary school, you will find that Morris Shamos will challenge the very basis of what you are trying to do, as well as the whole idea of "scientific literacy".

Digital Diffraction

I've always thought that optical transforms were a great model for the determination of crystal structures using X-ray diffraction, and I've used the ICE (Institute for Chemical Education) kit for this exercise many times.

A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

John Allen Paulos is author of another book that you may have read or heard about, "Innumeracy", in which he describes the decline in the ability of Americans to perform simple mathematics, even arithmetic. In "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper", he provides some of the reasons why mathematics is important to everyday life.

The National Science Education Standards

Well, the final version of the National Science Education Standards has finally arrived. If you are involved in curriculum planning for your school or district, or if you want to study the document in detail, you can buy a copy for $19.95 + 4.00 shipping from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington DC 20055 [1-800-624-6242].

Silent Sperm

In the novel "The Children of Men" by P. D. James, set in the year 2021, mankind is faced with extinction due to the worldwide sterility of human males. Is there a basis for fear that this is actually happening? Or is the reported decline in sperm counts, over the past half-century, even a fact?