Print

Print


Hi Jenny, Larry and others,

Thanks for this, Jenny - yes, correct! This is what you get for writing as much down very enthusiastically as possible while trying to make it concise. Of course the Moon always has a dark side but, just like the Earth, the Moon rotates, and thus everywhere experiences a period of day and night. Schoolchildren I used to teach did not know this, nor that it always keeps the same face pointed towards us, or how long the rotation period lasts. I do hear "dark side of the Moon" comments made in all seriousness without reference to Pink Floyd.

The most spectacular misconception I personally ever heard was "black holes are like animals' digestive systems, they eat what's around them and spit out the parts they don't need" which came from an article in the New Scientist magazine (which I suspect was describing black hole jets). This wasn't the fault of the individual, who really wanted to understand more, but whose education and exposure to science had not equipped them with what they needed. I didn't include this originally, because this was just one person, not widespread.... and sadly I didn't make their acquaintance long enough for long discussions.

Larry, I'd be interested to hear more about this "model" you describe. It isn't 100% clear to me what you mean by "they had to create models and use the same one each time". Do you mean, for example, a computer program, a thought experiment, a literal papier mache model?

Sandeep, I'd love to see your article when you write it. Feel free to get in touch again if you like.

Clear skies all,
Alice

________________________________
From: psci-com: on public engagement with science <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Jenny Shipway <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 27 March 2019 17:52
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PSCI-COM] Science misconceptions

Hi Larry -

My howler was a case of my fingers apparently autocorrecting the statement - I did send a correction immediately afterwards but I guess you missed this.

For anyone else: Larry is correct! I meant to say the misconception was that *phases of the Moon* are caused by the shadow of the Earth.

Can vouch also that Alice would have meant a permanent dark side.

Best wishes,
Jenny


On Wed, 27 Mar 2019, 17:37 Dr. Larry Krumenaker, <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
I have been on this list for a couple of years or so, but now I see a reason to step forward.

As an astronomy writer, especially once as publisher of a magazine for astronomy teachers, and as a former instructor in science education at the University of Cologne and at Seoul National University, I dealt often with misconceptions in teachers as well as the general public.  First, one must be careful about what one labels a misconception versus what is merely poor education on the topic, and second, one must watch the semantics and linguistics of the statements.  Two very similar but even slightly different wordings of a statement can create totally different conceptions of the topic.

Jenny, I have to question your statement that a misconception is that lunar eclipses are caused by the Earth's shadow.  Last time I saw one (just a few months ago) that WAS the Earth's shadow on the Moon.  Now if you meant that the Earth's shadow actively sought out the Moon to eclipse it, of course not.  But the semantics of the statement are not wrong, just unclear.

Alice, you stated that it is a misconception that the Moon has a dark side.  No, it is not a misconception.  It has a dark side.  All objects in the Solar System (other than the Sun!) have a dark side. They are all half in darkness, half in light.  What has to be said, in all deference to that renown authority, Pink Floyd, is that there is no "permanent" dark side to the Moon.

FWIW, in my workshops and classes for teachers and future teachers I taught them a pedagogy for unteaching misconceptions.   Basically, they have to create models that had to be used to try out all the different misconceptions *using the same model for all of them* and seeing how/if/what things or measures happened.  I can assure you that untaught even the most ingrained misconceptions!

Finally, since only a few people here know me, let me introduce myself...I am an astronomy-trained science writer and occasional educator, formerly a long-time member of the NASW, currently a member of the International Science Writers Assn. (ISWA) and its most recent Past President.  I have been a freelancer since the early '90s with lots of articles published, but more recently into book writing, in astronomy and history (not always in the same book).  After nearly three years in Germany I returned (regretfully and unwillingly) to the USA.

Dr. Larry Krumenaker


********************************************************************** psci-com how-to: Once subscribed, send emails for the list to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. If not subscribed, either subscribe here https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=psci-com<https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jiscmail.ac.uk%2Fcgi-bin%2Fwebadmin%3FA0%3Dpsci-com&data=02%7C01%7C%7C594c9a23b9594596514308d6b2e3a665%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636893088146131285&sdata=19j5tDrM4AgyF8WRo1d5qvNvD6bGYE4QfNkN7Iuu8Ps%3D&reserved=0> or send requests for items to be posted on your behalf to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> To unsubscribe (or silence messages while away) send an email (any subject) to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> with one of the following messages (ignoring text in brackets)  signoff psci-com (to leave the list)  set psci-com nomail (to stop receiving messages while on holiday)  set psci-com mail (to resume getting messages) Contact list owner at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> Small print and JISCMail acceptable use policy https://sites.google.com/site/pscicomjiscmail/the-small-print<https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fsites.google.com%2Fsite%2Fpscicomjiscmail%2Fthe-small-print&data=02%7C01%7C%7C594c9a23b9594596514308d6b2e3a665%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636893088146141296&sdata=gj6r5MhfFz7QalhmC%2BiamTc43F4C9%2FfTbZwiuRe%2FAho%3D&reserved=0> Contact Jisc Helpline: Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>, Telephone: 0300 300 2212 **********************************************************************
********************************************************************** psci-com how-to: Once subscribed, send emails for the list to [log in to unmask] If not subscribed, either subscribe here https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=psci-com or send requests for items to be posted on your behalf to [log in to unmask] To unsubscribe (or silence messages while away) send an email (any subject) to [log in to unmask] with one of the following messages (ignoring text in brackets)  signoff psci-com (to leave the list)  set psci-com nomail (to stop receiving messages while on holiday)  set psci-com mail (to resume getting messages) Contact list owner at [log in to unmask] Small print and JISCMail acceptable use policy https://sites.google.com/site/pscicomjiscmail/the-small-print Contact Jisc Helpline: Email: [log in to unmask], Telephone: 0300 300 2212 **********************************************************************

**********************************************************************

psci-com how-to:
Once subscribed, send emails for the list to [log in to unmask] If not subscribed, either subscribe here https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=psci-com or send requests for items to be posted on your behalf to [log in to unmask]

To unsubscribe (or silence messages while away) send an email (any subject) to [log in to unmask] with one of the following messages (ignoring text in brackets)

 signoff psci-com (to leave the list)
 set psci-com nomail (to stop receiving messages while on holiday)
 set psci-com mail (to resume getting messages)

Contact list owner at [log in to unmask]
Small print and JISCMail acceptable use policy https://sites.google.com/site/pscicomjiscmail/the-small-print

Contact Jisc Helpline: Email: [log in to unmask], Telephone: 0300 300 2212

**********************************************************************