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Bard College just got my attention…

In an age when it seems that schools and universities are cutting important programs across the board, it's good to see an example of a useful course of study actually being created.

Incoming freshman at Bard College, a liberal arts school in New York, will be required to take a "Citizen Science" program during their first years.  Such a course will entail learning about the scientific method, covering modern issues in science, and understanding how empiricism and a scientific approach to the world can be applied to all kinds of life's problems.

This sounds like a pretty awesome program, and assuming that they pull it off well, hopefully it will inspire many more colleges to do the same.  One of the things that I love about science is the extent to which it connects lots of different aspects of life that seemingly have nothing to do with research or academics.

By having a solid understanding of logic, the use (and misuse) of data, and basic statistics, students of all academic approaches will learn to make better decisions and separate the legitimate claims that people make from the utter nonsense that is often thrown around the media.  Teaching these basic principles (and others involved in the scientific method) to students outside of the scientific disciplines is a great step towards more well-rounded students and will help bridge the gap between the scientific community and the general public.  Bravo, Bard College!


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  1. Love it, ‘Citizen Science’. Look forward to seeing how it pans out, seems like it has strong potential to be experiential learning, which I would be a big fan of. Honestly, why don’t they make all science classes (K-12 too) like ‘Citizen Science’? Wouldn’t kids learn better if they learned science in the context of real world problems, issues, experiences, etc.? I think so.

  2. For sure – get on it, policy trailblazer!

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