In the first lecture I really developed the idea of the breath and importance of science and the value of being scientifically literate in our modern world. Scientific principles truly underpin a whole manner of areas in our daily life.
What is the purpose of science? Science should be about wondering, about thinking about the wider world and what role we play in the environment. It should help us to better understand ourselves, others and the world around us.
What is the purpose of science in education? It is common to view science education as merely to create the new generation of scientists, it plays a much more crucial role when we move away from such a focused view on the end product. Through science education we are teaching students vital skills and values and shaping caring, compassionate and ethical critical thinkers
I was also introduced to the Earth Charter, which I found really interesting. It calls for drastic change in our attitudes and values ‘Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions and ways of living’ with the conclusion calling for ‘a change of mind and heart’. It really highlights how engraved the process of exploitation of the planet it and that we need to completely change our thinking to create a better planet.
Through the earth charter a number of the centres of care are explicitly explored. Principle 1a reads: ‘Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings’ this directly links to the care for non human animals and care for plants and the physical environment. Promoting a shift in view from an anthropocentric to a more ecocentric view. It also highlights the 8th centre of care, the care for others ideas, beliefs and cultures. When composing the charter the writers had to take into consideration the views and values of varying groups, for example the Inuit community rejected the use of the word compassion in principle 15, which covers attitudes to animals in hunting and fishing communities. The charter itself comments on how we as a global community must ‘deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the Earth Charter…for we have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom’.