What passes for science these days?

Thousands of intermediate grade elementary school students will be at the Capitol building on May 19 for “State Scientist Day.” The event is sponsored by the California Association of Professional Scientists, a group that one assumes knows a thing or two about science. The kids who attend this event, however, will probably still only know literally a thing or two about science when it is over, as some of the topics covered are “Fishing in the City” and “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.”

I’m stretching a bit, as the other topics on State Scientist Day agenda do sound like hard science — chemistry, wildlife tracking and earthquakes for example. This event is my hook into discussing something I’ve been bugged by lately: the sorry state of science education in California.

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