Dr. Stuart Firestein
On Tuesday, April 23, the Bank Street College Board of Trustees hosted the annual Trustees’ Dinner at a new location and with a new format. Colleagues in education and friends of the College joined the Trustees at the Century Association in New York City for an evening focused on how to approach the teaching of science.
The centerpiece was a talk by Stuart Firestein, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Firestein is the author of Ignorance: How it Drives Science. His remarks on science and education stressed that asking questions is far more important to both learning and creating new knowledge than a narrow preoccupation with finding answers.
Firestein recalled the famous comment by Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…” He continued,
Science is a dynamic reality. Facts aren’t necessarily the goal; they shift and change based on new technology. What is important is how you frame the question.
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Elizabeth Dickey, Stuart Firestein, & Tony Asnes
Sarah & Geoffrey Gund, Laura Parsons
Earlier in the program, Bank Street President Elizabeth Dickey noted the current public discussion about STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math). She described Bank Street’s leadership over its hundred years of existence in preparing expert teachers in science and math, and creating curricula that excites children to become active learners. She mentioned