Natural science for all
When I started studying at the Molecular Biology program at Stockholm University in 1994 (long time ago!) the only thing I had against science was being a scientist. Like many high school students, I thought a scientist was a very smart person dressed in a white lab coat and that stayed in the lab all the time, with no social skills and who only focused on the experiments. Luckily I didn’t let this picture of a scientist discourage me from continuing on the scientific path. We scientists do work hard in the lab – this is the cornerstone of our work – however, we are not “crazy lonely scientists”. A large part of science depends on networking where we meet with other scientists and peers to discuss our ideas, to think about additional experiments to prove or disprove a hypothesis, and to share unique techniques.
To increase the interest for natural science in schools and pre-schools the Royal Academy of Science (KVA) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) already in 1994 initiated the program “Natural science for all”, in Swedish: "Naturvetenskap och teknik för alla" (NTA). Because of the great success, this program continued and continues to be implemented and covers today many schools across Sweden. I am happy to see that my children, 4 and 5 years old, in pre-school, have a large focus on tasks in natural science. At day care it so happened that one of the fathers and I started to talk about what we do for a living. He told me that he is educating teachers in the NTA program and I became really interested. I told him about our research group and how we work and he asked if NTA could come to record a short movie to describe the life of a research group. I am happy that my group has made a small contribution to the great effort of NTA. I ran in to him the other day and he told me that the movie has now been shown in schools around Sweden. The students appreciate and are happy to learn that they work in the same way in school as we do in the daily research life; we set up a hypothesis, design experiments to test it, perform the experiments, interpret data, draw conclusions, and decide if the hypothesis was true or false. The NTA program is today supported by both companies and foundations – including Ragnar Söderberg Foundation.
Let us treasure our nature – it is truly magnificent!
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