Editorial

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nurturing true enthusiasm and a lasting passion for science in the young generation seems to be more important now than ever before.

As the world gets increasingly “post-American”, the rapidly changing intellectual landscape of our times is a compelling reason for us to think, self-reflectively, if our educators, parents and the communities at large provide our children enough encouragement to study science or pursue a career in a scientific discipline.

President Obama repeatedly stressed the importance of science education in nation building and expressed his commitment to improving the quality of our educators. “The nation”, he said in a speech, “that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.”

In fact it has been some time since educationists and politicians grappling with the not-so-encouraging state of science education in the country. In an estimate published recently 15-year-olds in the US stood 21st in science and 25th in math, a performance level considered rather mediocre unfortunately.

While the president is right in noting that the quality of our educators plays a very crucial role in teaching science, it should, however, be emphasized that a genuine inquiry into what instills real interests in science, scientific modes of thinking and problem solving into the minds of our children should take us much beyond the class room.

Boosting interest in science in youngsters would take concerted efforts on the part of our educators, parents and communities with active involvement of the media, both the “old” and the “new”. This is where, we believe, Young Scientist, a science magazine specifically targeting school children, could make a lasting impact on how science and technology subjects are perceived by youngsters through breathing a sense of curiosity and scientific inquiry into their minds.

We believe, through a heightened awareness of the everyday life dominated by iPods, Face Book and Twitter among other high-tech gadgets, and how they were created by science in the first place, a genuine sense of inquisitiveness and a spirit of innovation, which form the very basis of any scientific discipline, could be generated in them.

A recent report by National Research Council on how to improve science education in the country states that the key to motivating students to learn science is to get them appreciate “the beauty and wonder of science” rather than just ask them to memorize large chunks of information. The 282 page report prepared by an 18-member committee, sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science is to form the basis of our science education policy.

The Young Scientist magazine aspires to do exactly this. Through original, curious and engaging stories and interactive features, we want to allure the young generation to the fascinating world of science — the true “beauty and wonder of science”.

Editor