COPUS: Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science
COPUS home page
This is a horrible acronym for a wonderful effort aimed at increasing public understanding of science by linking the efforts of universities, scientific societies, educators, advocacy groups, media, and businesses. COPUS hopes to establish many long-lived mechanisms to engage the public and stimulate their interest in and understanding of science. In the near-term COPUS seeks to involve organizations in support of a nationwide Year of Science 2009 celebration.
Understanding Science homepage
The scientific method is traditionally taught as a five-step recipe that starts with a question and ends with interpretation of data in the context of a hypothesis. In reality the scientific process has a richer, non-linear nature that varies considerably from the hypothesis and testing cycle typically described. Believing that this misunderstanding of the nature of science is both prevalent and damaging, members of the scientific and eduational community are working to develop freely-available, web-based materials that accurately convey the process by which science advances. In Phase I of this project (currently underway) content will be developed, including historical and modern examples as well as teaching materials. Phase II will focus on strategies for integrating and reinforcing the nature of science within content areas mandated by state and national science standards and within courses taught at the undergraduate level. A complementary effort is underway at Visionlearning where at "process of science" curriculum is under construction, and a model for what these efforts might look like someday can be seen at the Understanding Evolution site