acm - an acm publication

2022 - March

  • Workings of science: Is science limited to the sciences?

    Albert Einstein once said, "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." This thought was echoed by Carl Sagan, who said, "Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them." These observations, and those of numerous other intellectual luminaries, strongly suggest that the common distinction made between what is science and non-science, say between physics and history, is more apparent than real. These, of course, are personal opinions based on personal observations This essay explores the intriguing idea that virtually everything is science. It also provides some recent scientific evidence that trying to distinguish between science and non-science is not only fruitless but can also do real harm to individuals and society as a whole.

  • Workings of science: Character traits of science

    People who properly understand and appreciate science seem also to have an unlimited capacity to understand and appreciate most other things in life such as art, music, philosophy, poetry, sports, etc. By contrast, many people who don't properly understand and appreciate science seem to really hate it, even to the point of saying that science is "dehumanizing" and therefore they want nothing to do with it. This essay proposes a possible means of overcoming this unfortunate (and dangerous) misconception by positioning science as if it were an actual human being and then defining its many admirable qualities. It further suggests how the concept of science as a human being might be introduced into the educational system K--12. Not as a subject for study itself, but rather as the indispensable, rock-solid foundation on which the teaching of all other subjects in the curriculum would depend.

  • The surprising benefits of a pre-first draft

    Each "Communication Corner" essay is self-contained; however, they build on each other. For best results, before reading this essay and doing the exercise, go to the first essay "How an Ugly Duckling Became a Swan," then read each succeeding essay.

    Good expository (non-fiction) writers are good because they have interesting and important things to say. Wrong. Virtually everyone has interesting and important things to say; it's just that we aren't aware of them. Here is a technique to help you find your inner voice.