Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Blinded with Science

mad scientistIf you were to ask my four year old what he would like to do when he’s an adult, the answer you’re probably going to get is “a scientist”. Of course, given that you are dealing with a small child you can get virtually any answer you want out of him, but generally speaking scientist is his answer.
Since I can claim at least partial responsibility there, I am rather proud. I already used the “I want to be a scientist” weapon to convince my otherwise take-after-his-father lazy son of the need to know how to count; it worked rather well.
I severely doubt my son will ever become a scientist. First, I have no idea whether he has the qualities to become one or whether the will he's displaying now will sustain. Second, it takes a lot of hard work. Third, and most critically, our society does not encourage people to become scientists. Footballers, yes, but scientists – no.
I can only bask in my momentary success, which shows quite clearly how parents can exert influence over their children through the subtlest of things. I never preached science to my son; I just let him watch Bad Universe. Perhaps the most notable way for me to demonstrate this effect that parents can have is to point out that when I was my son’s age, I wanted to become a garbage truck driver.

Image by dzingeek, Creative Commons license

1 comment:

wile.e.coyote said...

Due to the coming of the Technological singularity there is no need for humans to work on Science anymore, is it so 20th'ish

to prove my point, blogger gave me verification word for this post "whiskybum"