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This nearly two hour program is archived and is podcasting. The summary will be posted sometime on Monday, 1-10-22. While some of you may be upset with this program, remember that the guest and the callers worked very hard to keep politics and ideology out of the discussion. We were not interested in blaming, pointing fingers or saying you did this or that. The problems pointed out by our guest go across all idelolgical and political sides and have huge consequences for our future and humanity and that is not an understatement. As you listen to Anna, the callers, and yes, even me, I want you to think about this:
For space, it is likely that the people who will take us to Mars and beyond, both in exploration and in settlement, have not yet been born or perhaps they have not yet started school. Ask yourself, how will these future generations take us to Mars, build the spacecraft, solve the life support issues, build O'Neall stations and more without learning real math, science and critical thinking? How will we do with medical care and research with people trained by idelogogy, not science, not fact, without due diligence, research, all of it? Well, I could go on and on but when you listen to Anna and today's participants, also ask yourself who gets hurt by the mixing of science with ideology and worse? Most likely the people hurt are the people the educators say they are trying to help.
Anna has courage speaking out about what is going on at USC and in her publications, with her students and her peers. Many of our callers said we have a similar obligation. It is not about politics or I believe this and you believe that. Its about our future, our kids, and generations that come after us. And getting on with going to Mars and beyond.
This note will be part of the archive summary for this show. By the way, if you want to reach Dr. Krylov, you can do so through her faculty page in the chemistry department at USC (University of Southern California).
Guest: Dr. Anna Krylov; Topics: Mixing politics, ideology, and science together, teaching ideology, canceling and distorting the history of science, shades of the USSR, math as a tool of racism, totalitarianism in science, how space is impacted and more.
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We welcomed Dr. Anna Krylov, USC chemistry professor, to the show to talk with us about the problems associated with mixing the teaching of science with politics and ideology. Dr. Krylov, who was born in what is today Ukraine, grew up as a student in the USSR where teaching with ideology was the way it was done. during our nearly two hour program, she cited many examples of what she sees going on with science and education today to what was being done on a routine basis in the old USSR. She talked about canceling out very famous scientists because of other things they might have said or done so that even the teaching of the history of science is distorted by ideological omissions. Listen to her examples which included many famous and familiar names such as Newton and Shockley. Other examples were mentioned so don't miss them.
Anna answered and responded to several phone calls and multiple listener emails, some telling of their own experiences related to ideology and science but others asking questions. For example, Fremont John asked Anna who was drawing the lines that our guest constantly said should not be crossed and were they crossed there would be hell to pay. Listen to how our guest responded to these questions. Anna also talked about the feedback she got when she published her paper on the subject, a paper by the way which is available on our blog for this program. What was interesting to her was the supportive feedback but that it was intimidated so they were glad Anna stuck he neck out there but they did not feel they could be so bold. The negative feedback was as you imagine, pretty negative.
I thought it was interesting when Bob from Boston sent in a note asking her to compare and contrast her educational experiences at Moscow State U, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the University of California Berkeley. Listen to what Anna said about all three institutions on ideology and mixing politics with science and especially with math, as well as working with science history and other controversial figures throughout history. The Sir Isaac Newton story was a surprise to me, I had not heard that his work was being discarded and in teaching Newton's laws, his name was no longer allowed to be used because of Newton's race. Post your comments about this on our blog.
I asked Anna several questions about how this type of teaching was allowed or enabled given many of the schools she was reference had Nobel winning professors on faculty and knew better than to teach by ideolog and censor history's participants. Anna did discuss some reasons for it but in case you have ideas, please let us know them by posting them on our blog. Later on Marshall called to ask if this was happening with music. He cited the work of Richard Wagner as an example. Our guest said it was going on in some music schools but for sure in the liberal arts, economics, and sciences. When a listener sent in a note asking how what Anna was talking about impacted space, she told us why the space program in the USSR eventually fell on hard times. In addition, Anna a few times used the Royal Society of Chemistry as an example of what she was talking about. Listen to what she said whenever she mentioned this organization.
Near the end of our discussion, math teaching was brought up given recent publicity about how it is considered by some to be racist. Our guest talked a lot about the importance of teaching math without bias. This led to the efforts by some, including here in CA to get rid of advance placement classes due to equity. Anna had much to say on this particular situation. Before we ended our interview, Anna said she want to leave us with a Russian joke. Listen carefully to it as Anna did tell us the joke.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Dr. Krylov on her USC Chemistry Faculty Page.