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JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Hal Harris's picture

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

One part (but only one part) of the decline in science in the US is the growing minority of citizens who semiautomatically adopt positions antagonistic to those of the scientific consensus, regardless of the issue. The "scientific community" is not a monolith, and skepticism and dissent are essential to the process of science.

Hal Harris's picture

Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools

Thu, 10/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

America's public schools are in trouble, and there are few who would disagree. But despite billions of dollars spent in "reform" efforts, little real progress seems to be occuring. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was a step (or a misstep, perhaps) toward greater accountability by schools for student achievement.

Hal Harris's picture

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Tue, 09/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Meet Flavia de Luce. You are going to like her. It is 1950 and Flavia, a very precocious eleven year old, lives in a small village in England in a deteriorating grand mansion with her father and two older sisters. Her passion is chemistry, which she has learned on her own by reading a textbook owned by her deceased mother and practiced in a laboratory inherited from her uncle.

Hal Harris's picture

Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

Sat, 08/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

When I saw this new book on the subject of evolution, I thought it would probably be one side or the other of the very tired evolution/creationism-"intelligent" design debate. I was delighted to find instead a very smart discussion of the status of our understanding of the origins of life, how life has changed over the millennia, and how we have learned about those things. Mr.

Hal Harris's picture

Science Teaching as a Profession: Why it Isn't How it Could Be

Wed, 07/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

The shortage of well-trained science teachers is widely recognized, but the solution to the problem requires first an appreciation of its causes. This little book, which is available free online, addresses the tangible and intangible reasons why fewer talented people choose science teaching as a career or choose not to stay in teaching.

Hal Harris's picture

Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World

Mon, 06/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Jan Hendrik Schön published some of the most exciting and ground-breaking physics of the past decade. He published it in the most prestigious specialty journals such as Physical Review Letters, Nature and Science. He won several important prizes and was being nominated for more of them when a problem came to light. The problem was that Schön had no data to substantiate his discoveries .

Hal Harris's picture

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

What good is music? Oliver Sacks (author of The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, The Island of the Colorblind, and especially - for chemists - Uncle Tungsten) concludes in the Preface to Musicophilia that there is no apparent evolutionary advantage associated with human appreciation for certain combinations of sounds and rhythm.

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