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...a club for people who never stop learning

The Scientech Club provides a forum for weekly presentations and discussions in the fields of science and technology and other topics for the enlightenment of its membership.

Regular, one-hour Meetings are, with the exception of holidays, held every Monday at noon at The Northside Knights of Columbus, 2100 East 71st Street, Indianapolis. Club Members, as well as the general public, may attend our Regular Meetings for a nominal contribution to pay for the facility. For those who wish, a buffet lunch may be enjoyed before the meeting. Occasionally, instead of a presentation, members and their guests may take a tour to a place of interest, such as a plant or historical site.

The Scientech Club is associated with two outstanding local charitable Foundations, established by Scientech members to promote science education: The D.J. Angus - Scientech Foundation and the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation.

Vol 91 No 28 - July 28, 2014

Novum Organum II: Going Beyond the Scientific Research Model

Presented By: Chris Edwards, Ed. D.


Dr. Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards is an author, philosopher and teacher of AP World History at Fishers High School. He has written two books and several articles about a "new old method" of critical thinking and learning.

Francis Bacon wrote Novum Organum in 1620, and therein described a new method of learning. Rather than simply learning what was taught by great thinkers of the past, e.g., Aristotle, Bacon advocated for gaining knowledge by acquiring evidence. Students and scholars should be like bees; go out and acquire information and bring it back for the whole hive (community) to use.

Not long after Bacon's death the English Bill of Rights was passed and Newton's Principia Mathematica was published. A sea change called the Enlightenment was beginning. But science was still the pursuit of amateurs in England and elsewhere. One hundred fifty years later, academic institutions in (what became) Germany finally rationalized higher education into evidentiary research at the doctorate level.

However, much of education at all other levels has remained wedded to "content dumping" and mathematical training of students without challenging them with the next step of using information analogically. Learning occurs when a new concept or understanding is gained by describing it through analogies which students already grasp. Creative intellectual leaps occur when analogies move from one field to another (e.g., gun powder to planetary motion).

In order to develop more great leaps, education should educate thinkers to cross disciplines. Students should study analogies. They should be challenged to create more intricate analogies which refine the description of reality. Then, students should be challenged to consider which analogies work and to explain why or why not.

Our current educational system incentivizes teachers to spend more time in administrative and extracurricular activities rather than teaching. Administrators are paid more than teachers, and teachers can earn extra pay by coaching and running clubs. Yet, they have to pay to take additional classes to widen and deepen their knowledge.

Dr. Edwards's talk was stimulating and challenging. He left our Club members feeling much better about the quality of teaching in at least one public school. Your diligent scribe is now considering matriculating at Fishers High in order to take Dr. Edwards' History class.

Notes by Jeff Rasley