13 September 2011
Enlightenment and Education: public lecture
How can we communicate science to future generations, help them make sense of scientific methodology and fight the rise of anti-scientific movements?
Hear Nobel Laureate Sir Harold Kroto on the crucial issues of science, education and the public sphere in a free public lecture at RMIT University on Wednesday, 28 September, as part of the RMIT Transforming the Future lecture series.
Professor Kroto said the need for the general population to have a satisfactory understanding of science and technology had never been greater.
"We live in a world that is economically, socially and culturally dependent on science not only functioning well, but being wisely applied," he said.
"But even as we start to make new advances in science, a curious phenomenon has started to appear and it is an anti-scientific movement operating on many fronts.
"There is a general unwillingness to accept that there may be problems ahead for the very survival of the human race and furthermore some of our traditionally held views may not stand up to the rigorous analysis that Natural Philosophy demands.
"Part of the problem lies in the intrinsic aspect of science that in complex situations one cannot be absolutely sure until the real 'situation' is upon us.
"In the light of this there is only one hope - that is to better educate the next generation to ensure they have better understanding of what we know, and how we come to know."
Sir Harold Kroto has been an active researcher for most of his career. In 1996 he was knighted for his contributions to chemistry, and later that year won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the C60 Buckminsterfullerene, a new form of carbon.
As part of his efforts to improve scientific education, Professor Kroto has created the Vega Science Trust - which streams science programs - and more recently set up Global Educational Outreach for SET (GEOSET), enabling educators across the world to contribute to and access a free cache of teaching material.
At the RMIT lecture, he will share his recent work, and his insights on the internet's vital role in science communication and informing public debate.
The free public lecture is at RMIT Storey Hall, 342 Swanston Street, Melbourne, 6pm-7.30pm on Wednesday, 28 September. Bookings essential: firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Sir Harold Kroto)
For media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.