Closing Panel Discussion (2016) - The Future of Education in Sciences; Panelists Brian Schmidt, Dan Shechtman, Tamás Vámi, Carl Wieman; Moderator Karan Khemka

So as we launch into this, let me just set it up. We’ll do a quick intro of everybody on the stage. We’ll then have 45 minutes of discussion amongst the panellists. And the discussion will touch on really 4 aspects of education in the sciences. Teaching, careers in the sciences, gender, and emerging markets. And we’ll then move into Q&A where I will enforce a strict rule: no political polemics. Let’s make it real questions. So with that in mind let me just quickly go around. We’ll start with Carl, again with the Nobel Laureates here, they have been introduced to you before so I’ll keep it very brief. Carl won the Nobel Prize in 2001 for Physics, for achieving the Bose Einstein condensation. I don’t pretend to know what that is, I’m a historian. But it sounds impressive. But what I do know is that Carl is very passionate about education in the sciences, as we saw from his talk earlier this week. And so we are really looking forward to his comments. Then we have Danny Shechtman, again from Israel, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for quasicrystals. My wife actually just asked him about those and his reply was, "Do you mean rubies and diamonds because I don’t know about those." But again Danny is immensely passionate about teaching in the sciences. In fact, he has anchored a TV show called ‘Be a Scientist with Professor Dan’ in Israel. And he was kind enough to show me an episode of the show. It’s for children and it’s fascinating and we’re going to talk more about that later. We then have Brian Schmidt. Brian again won the Nobel Prize in Physics. And part of his prize, part of the discovery was something called dark energy. Which, as a little boy, I thought existed, but it just frightened me and I didn’t ever know what it was. Apparently Brian knows what it is. But again Brian is obviously passionate about education in the sciences. He is Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University, which in that part of the world is the top university. But it isn’t that hard because there’s nobody there last time I checked. (Laughter) And then we have Tamás Vámi who has really the courage to be up here with the Laureates. He is from Hungary. He is a student researcher at CERN which sounds very impressive. And he is interested in particle physics and modern quantum theories. Because the old quantum theories are no good. And I agree with you, they’re rubbish. So with that just a very brief background on what we’ll talk about, and then we’ll go into the Q&A, and I'll keep it very brief. The future of the world in a knowledge economy is all about innovation. And innovation is going to come from the sciences. And so it’s no surprise that countries are investing heavily in innovation and the sciences from the US to Ghana. A lot of this investment is coming from emerging markets. An interesting statistic: in 2002, China had just 1.3 million students in its higher education system studying sciences. In 2013 that number had grown to 6.2 million at a 16.5% compound annual growth rate. So these investments are tremendous. And we need to ask the question: Are they being made appropriately? Is it enough? And what are we doing for the betterment of humanity? Even so there are some stark disparities. Africa contributes to just over 1% of total scientific output and has just 79 researchers per million citizens. In the United Sates that number is 45,000 per million. Now those researchers, obviously, have not influenced the United States to impact the republic presidential nomination. So I don’t know about the quality of the science there. And other emerging markets are on the way up, with China at about 1,000 researchers per million. We also have disparities on the gender front. Where even though almost 60% of all tertiary enrolments in the world are now female, which is amazing. Because the workforce of the future will skew towards women. That is the first time in history that that’s going to happen, and that is a great thing. However, we have far fewer in the sciences. Only 43% of PhD students are women. And only 28% of researchers around the world are women. So what do we do to lift that and to change that? And, lastly, how do we think about encouraging science at an early age. Something that you know Danny is definitely involved in. And this is important because a school that I’m involved in in the United States has a whole programme around something called the 'learning disposition'. The idea being that many students, male and female, young and old, sometimes think a subject is hard and then they shy away from it. Or they perform poorly in it. Not because they don’t have the aptitude but because they think they don’t have the aptitude. And I think bringing science in early may help to address that. And, of course, the last component that we’ll talk about is technology. And advances in MOOCs and other technology-driven learning devices and how that helps. So that’s just a little bit of background. And with that I’m going to sort of dive into the first of the 4 themes that we’ll talk about today, which is 'teaching in the sciences'. And with that I want to start with early years. So I’m going to start with Danny, and I’d love you to talk about some of the things that you’re doing to encourage science for very young students, some of the model kindergartens. And I’d love you to talk about why you feel that matters so much. Ok, thank you. Well, it all boils down to the following, the most important natural resource of every country and the most sustainable one is human ingenuity. we have to foster it, and we have to develop it as early as possible. So I think that every society needs more engineers and scientists and MDs and biologists and computer experts. These are people that open start-ups and develop economies. The problem is that in the modern world young people don’t wish to become one of these. They rather want to be managers and lawyers and accountants - which is wonderful, but not too many of them. And so in order to foster the notion that a young person would want to become an engineer or a scientist and so on, my idea was to start teaching science as early as possible. I am talking about real science, no hocus-pocus with liquid nitrogen and acid changing colours - nothing of that sort. Real science to kindergarten children. I started it in my hometown of Haifa, with the mayor of Haifa. He turned to me after he heard me talking on the radio, and asked me if I would do it in Haifa. I asked him, "Do you pay?" He said, "I will pay for the project," and this is where we started. We had a pilot of 60 kindergarten, 60 kindergarten representing all walks of society. And we had a group of scientists teaching the kindergarten teachers science. And they would teach it to the children. Part of it was lost in translation. That is because the kindergarten teacher just didn’t have it. They could barely understand but when they had to talk to the children it didn’t work very well. And only half of them are left now, 30 of them. However, the project has developed into creating science kindergartens. Kindergartens dedicated to science in Haifa. This is something that anybody interested in early education should see. Because it’s magnificent, these are magnificent places with laboratory for young children, amazing things. So this is project number 1. Project number 2 and I saw that the teacher - not all teachers can re-convey the message of science. I said I myself would like to reach a larger audience. And I turned to our national educational television channel and proposed to them to create a programme for me. The programme is called 'To Be a Scientist with Professor Dan'. In Hebrew it rhymes (speaking in Hebrew). And this is a wonderful programme that you can watch on the internet, but it’s in Hebrew. And also the title is in Hebrew, so it’s not too easy to reach. However, anybody who wants to access it on the internet can send me an email and I will send you a list of clips. Every clip is 15 minutes. The channel created for me a laboratory on the set. With a laboratory assistant who is a young actress. The children represent all walks of society. The only requirement, besides representation of society, is that they will be talkative little children. They need to like talking because we need to discuss things. We don’t want anybody shy there. And we discuss different subjects in science, real science: How do you measure things. What is matter? How is matter built? Light and interaction of light with matter. Forces in nature, including fields, gravitational fields, magnetic fields. It’s not so easy to explain. And we have only a few minutes to do that. So it goes on and on and on. These are the 2 projects that I am involved in. And the last thing I want to mention is about the importance of teachers. In my opinion teachers are the most important people in the world, in every country. Because they hold the future of countries in their hands. And this is why we should do the following: every country pay them well and select them well. Some countries do a very good job. (Applause) Some countries do a very good job. Other countries do not do a very good job. And this is the future, these are the people that create the future. We must pay great attention to what kind of teacher we want and select them. And create a condition in which many people would like to become teachers. That means basically good salary. Thank you. Brilliant, thank you so much Dan. (Applause) And the comments on teachers are spot-on. A lot of the work that we’ve done shows that countries that value teachers are countries that have the best teaching. Carl, I’m going to sort of work my way up the age group. Carl, you already shared some comments on teaching in the sciences. I think you only had 5 minutes yesterday but you can take longer today, so you can go for it. Let me just start by amplifying on a couple of things that Danny said of what the research says. I mostly work at the university level and do research there. But there are other things I’m involved in research across the board. And there are 2 critical aspects to this. The research in the last few years has actually revealed that young children are capable of learning much more science than people had historically thought. And that you just have to make sure that it’s presented to them in the right way. And you don’t get them confused with the language. But the actual learning capabilities at very young ages of scientific reasoning is, so there’s much opportunity there that people are really just discovering from the developmental psychology. Then the second area, though, has to do with teachers. That some, I mean these things vary a great deal around the world in different countries as stated. But within the US, and many other countries, we know that the elementary education - that teachers of elementary school are the people, the part of the student demographics, who are the most uncomfortable with science and sort of frightened of science and arithmetics; that’s the field they go into. And so this is a profound problem if you want those teachers to inspire and enlighten young children. So in thinking about all these problems at an early age, you really have to think about how you’re training and educating the teachers. Which takes me up to the university level. What do we need to do to help, both as teachers and all the other students? And this is an area where there’s really been great strides in the last few decades: in understanding how people learn, particularly how they learn complex thinking, like thinking scientifically. And the most effective ways to actually educate them. And we have particularly good data at the university level, showing there are certain methods that are not just a little better, but they’re 2 or 3 times better in their effectiveness compared to what the usual way that most university science courses are taught these days. And if you stop to think of that, if you could double the effectiveness of every class that a student takes, what that would actually mean in terms of the quality of the graduates that our universities could be producing. So I think we really have the research now to allow enormous improvements and there are enormous opportunities that universities like ANU or a few are starting to take advantage of. But I think there is some hope for really major transformation. Not just how universities teach but also how universities are recognised by society as providing real special educational value. But they have to take a scientific approach to this of saying, ok, we’re really going to not just work at cutting-edge research in our science, but cutting-edge research in how to best teach our students how to think scientifically. That’s a beautiful segway to Brian’s world of leading a university, a research university. How do you think about, is there a tension between quality research and quality teaching, do they come together? And what are the things happening at ANU that you would say are new in the teaching of science? Right, so there is a perception among some people that somehow teaching well and research are incongruous. It is certainly true that you do need to spend time to teach well. And so the great universities of the world will provide staff with the time and the resources so they can do it. And make sure they are teaching one class well rather than 4 classes poorly - which is quite frankly an approach that a lot take. And so from my perspective it’s coming to a deal and saying, what is a modern university? It's research and teaching right now. I mean that starts back to really the Berlin Universities in the late 1800s, and getting the psyche that this is what we’re going to do. Because, ultimately, the connections with the students actually benefit the staff. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts for me. It makes my research interesting. And I have taught every year - this will be my first year I have not taught - since becoming vice chancellor. But in all my time at ANU I have taught and it hasn’t slowed my research down. Indeed, it connects me with young people and the ideas and things around them. So as a university you need to think, how are you going to motivate your staff which is not used to really taking teaching seriously. You just sort of go through using the lecture that has been around for almost 1,000 years. You keep doing the same thing and you have to motivate it. And you have to, first thing, realise it's important and realise it's actually not that hard. If you look at what Carl has done, you realise you can get huge gains with actually quite small changes. It’s just convincing your staff to do it. And you convince university staff by incentivising it. You tell a professoriate do this, he will most guaranteed turnaround and say no, sort of like a French worker, you know. You have to lead them - sorry to my friends out there. So you have to go through and incentivise it and part of that is giving carrots. For example, if you want to be promoted you have to show a teaching portfolio. That’s not the way we used to do it. It used to be just show me your nature papers. Well, I’m sorry, these days you got to do your teaching portfolio and show that you’re taking this seriously. And looking at the research, measuring the gain and actually seeing how you’re doing and reflecting on that and changing. And getting that as part of the university culture. So we have essentially a group of teachers and researchers within my university who have gone through and created this sort of fellowship where you have different levels, and to achieve it you have to not just develop your own techniques. You then have to go and help other people in the university. And you can use that as your demonstration, that, 'yes, I should be promoted'. It’s very effective, it’s self-supportive. It means it’s quite easy because they’ve got the world experts to help you to make your teaching better. And then it’s also a matter of looking what’s going on in the rest of the world. Our physics department - we’ve been playing around with MOOCs so we started an edX. And we could see from the data just how people interact with that. That there are some things we can do, and we can test those in the classroom - we have done that. We took a reasonable lecturer and that person changed the way they taught and then we measured the gain, we measured the student satisfaction. Guess what - both skyrocketed, you know, reasonable changes. So we’ve decided, jeez, we need to do this. We have completely - in the process of revamping our entire physics undergraduate curriculum to be pivoted around these new ideas. It’s a lot of work but the entire faculty got together and got quite excited about it. Because then it becomes a group activity that self-reinforces. And so you have to ultimately change the culture and make it as what you do. And you start. I mean, I wouldn’t have guessed that physics would have been the area that would have started this at the ANU but it is. And it’s partially because of Carl and other people’s work, which we have gone through and done the data and just show it works better. So, as I said, it’s that cultural change. And then it’s a matter as a university of saying look what we’re doing, we’re different than anywhere else. You want to come here and that actually raises the prestige of your university. Probably more effectively than any single other thing that you can do. And so it’s good on all fronts. Before I move to Tamás. You tantalised us by saying there were 2 or 3 small things, you could share. I’m going to tell Carl to do that, he’s the one who invented them. I guess another question for you, though, is you mentioned carrots - I didn’t realise there were any vegetarians in Australia. Lots of kangaroos… I just want to follow-up on a point made earlier about the connection between research, expertise, and teaching. One of the things, the kind of research that I look at, where we find that teaching is much more effective, is really having students practice thinking like an expert and getting good guidance from the instructor on doing that. But one particular feature of this is, if you compare doing that compared to being the traditional talking text book, we find that this kind of more effective teaching is much more demanding of your mastery of the subject. And so, for the first time really, we have a sort of real honest basis for the research university. For the fact that the best researchers, who know the subject most deeply and understand knowledge in the subject and thinking in the subject, are actually also teaching the subject. But it’s important to remember that’s a necessary but not sufficient condition. We see that they really have to have deep content expertise. But then they have to have some basic expertise in the teaching as well. But ultimately they really do go hand in hand. Tamás, as a student you are a victim of the theories of all these men. What do you think? And if you had to think back to your days as an undergraduate, as a master’s student, what would you wish were 1 or 2 things that had been done differently or better? I really liked the lecture of Professor Wieman, because that’s what I think the best. What I feel that if I work on the subject myself, it is much more effective than to go into classes. And I must admit that I am not going to many classes in the university. So now I can tell the professors that this was a result of research. So that’s the reason why I am not going to the lectures. But anyway I feel that it is very effective to do things by myself. One area that you have been very involved in is in MOOCs and in using technology in teaching. And it would be great now to start with you and then it would be good to get the reactions of the Laureates to that. Ok, so let me answer this question in context. As you mentioned, I primarily work at CERN. But secondary I work at the Hungarian Institute, a talent centre which is called the Milestone Institute. And that’s for secondary school students. So we have the kindergarten, the university and I am teaching at the 'secondary school'. And this institute is built on 3 things: the first one is 'societies' which is not that relevant in this panel. But the second one is module system and the third one is mentoring. So in this module system what we do is that we give the material to the students before the class. And they come to the class with questions. So we can discuss and we can give feedback to them. And the mentor system, it means that every student has an individual mentor. So we can have a very good feedback to them. If they have any question they can go to them and then deeply discuss that small part of the topic. Answering the question is that MOOCs are very good for these, both for the module system and for the mentoring. But what I believe is after the MOOC you need some feedback. And for this, this is why we have this mentoring system. That you can go to your mentor and after you listened to the MOOC, you can ask questions and then go into the deeper part of that. Great. I’m going to, just for the interest of time, move a little bit into the question of careers. Oh sorry, I wanted the Laureates to comment on MOOCs because it is such a hot subject. And again, leading a university that has stepped into the world of MOOCs quite aggressively, it would be great to get Brian’s view and then just move down the list. Alright, well, you know we joined edX about 4 years ago and part of our agreement would be that I would prepare 36 MOOCs with a colleague, Paul Francis, who is an educational expert. And the first thing is they’re a lot harder to do than you might think. They take about 60 hours per hour of MOOC, if you’re going to do them well. You need to design lots of interactive bits. You realise very soon that the average attention span of a person is universally 6 minutes with kind of a half-life. And so you design everything around these 6 minutes. You have questions that you need to come up with, assessment exercises that can be scaled up and are quite interactive. And so we do all sorts of interesting problem solving, which has a mass of 10,000 people trying to solve them. But the process of this has taught us a lot. This is the basis that we have now changed our entire physics curriculum. And the vice chancellor of the day said, "This is a disruptive technology. I don’t want to be investing in something that’s going to eat our lunch." And I said, "That’s exactly why you want to invest in this. Because it’s going to eat our lunch." So I think the MOOCs serve a purpose, and my purpose of a MOOC is: everyone gets something better. But tiered into the level that you use it, you learn from it, and you can provide. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, you can get my 36 lectures on cosmology and whatever else. Some people here have taken it because I’ve signed certificates since I’ve been here. And you also get the ability to use that technology in your own lectures locally. And then you augment it with personal tuition at the university. So I think it’s an interesting evolving space. It is going to be important, I don’t quite know how, in the future. Danny? Well, you know that in most universities we have feedback from the students, how well teachers, professors are doing. And we have had it in my university at the Technion for very many years. I have been the best one for consecutive 10 years, so I am out of the competition. They don’t want me in the competition anymore. But that’s beside the point. The thing is the following. Usually, although universities have the data, they don’t do anything about it. So if there is a terrible teacher he continues to be a professor and nothing happens. And they still give him to teach time and again, which is a big, big mistake. So many universities have guidance programmes for professors how to teach and so on and so forth how to do it better. The good teachers take these classes, the bad teachers don’t take them anyway. So it will remain in the same place. The quality teaching in university is not something which is unique to universities. We also have it in high schools and so on. And we have, I want to relate to high schools for one minute. We have a problem in high schools, that while in primary schools women, young girls, and boys perform more or less the same in mathematics and those realistic areas. When they come to secondary school, to high school, girls give up on mathematics. This is the society that I know. And they do it because of different social reasons. It has nothing to do with talent, ladies are as talented as boys - in many cases they do better. I have a solution for that which I would like to try in Israel and I will do it probably in the next couple of years. And the solution is the following: Number 1, in order to have girls equally successful as boys, separate them in mathematical classes. I know it sounds terrible - separate them, they will do much better when they do not have to compete with the boys. They will achieve the same results as the boys, it has been tested by studies, it has been supported. This is number 1. Number 2, use technology. That means the following: Select the best teacher of the subject in wherever the unit is. And let him or her produce clips of 45 minutes or so teaching the subject according to the programme. And have a teacher in the class while the students watch it and the teacher can answer questions and create discussion. The clip should be shorter than that, maybe 20 minutes, the rest will be discussion Number 3, make study groups, as you mentioned, 3 at a table. Give them a problem to solve and let them do it. This is called peer-teaching - the best will teach the rest. And the final result will be by far better than anything we know today, in my opinion. I am going to start a programme like this in Israel in 3 schools. And if it is successful the next year it will be spread. Brilliant. Carl, you are on record commenting on MOOCs and it would be great for you to build on that and respond to some of the thoughts here. Well, I mean, I just look at the data. First Brian explained MOOCs were supposed to be a wonderful cost effective solution, and they’re actually mostly more expensive. In terms of if you look at the number of student completions per dollar, they’re quite a bit more expensive than having a real person there. So just from the economics. But most of the MOOCs are putting the teachers doing lectures and they’re just being watched on a computer. Now, not all of them, there are exceptions which are more effective. But the ones, the great majority are ok the lecture is on a computer instead of standing up on a stage. I have to break the news to you, it’s not really more effective and we’ve got a lot of data showing that sitting there listening to lectures isn’t very effective in any case. And so it’s kind of like putting old bad wine into new bottles - it’s still bad wine. There’s a client of mine, an unnamed university president, who at the beginning of the MOOC revolution was fighting it and said, none of my teachers will ever get on. And then he was fighting to hold his professors back, because they just saw it as a popularity contest, you know, who gets more clicks than the next guy. I don’t want to come across as anti-technology in this. I mean part of my work is finding the best. And there are many ways that technology can really enhance the capabilities of a good instructor and improve learning. But you just have to make sure that the technology is being used in ways that we know enhance learning. And good instructors are not just using it for technology sake, which is often a failure. Yah, I just want to say that you know a MOOC doesn’t make sure it’s good. Actually MOOCs are much harder to make good than even a lecture. But the nice thing is you get really good feedback straight through, and so you can actually learn. And when you’ve got 10,000 people from different cultures you can tease out things and say, this concept, we’re really struggling with here, obviously they’re not getting it. Because they have to do these little quizzes afterwards and you measure the gain throughout it. So it is an interesting vehicle. As I said, I don’t know where it’s going. It’s not a panacea by any means. But I do think it provides some people who have no education, higher education, with something which is certainly better than they got. But it’s not a substitute. I think you meant no access to higher education, you said no education. I mean no access, thank you, no access to higher education. Tamás you had a point. Yah, I’d like to make another comment. What I observe from my students, that they learn the subject more deeply if they hear the topic from a Nobel Laureate. So like they are much more motivated to hear something from a Nobel Laureate than if a normal teacher would tell about it. Even if they say the same thing but it’s a Nobel Laureate, they are much more motivated. And that’s something that you can do with the MOOC. My experience is my class gets bored of me after the first day. For myself, motivation was largely driven by fear in class. I don’t think a MOOC would have done it for me either, unless you could shock the student remotely. So let’s move to the second theme which is 'careers'. Now we have a lot of budding young scientists here. In the end these people need to put a house and home over their head while doing earth shattering and meaningful work. And I’m going to start again with Dan because the Technion is legend in terms of helping students find their feet as entrepreneurs in science as a career. You know the book 'Start-Up Nation' was largely based on the experience of Technion. And we’d all love to hear, how that spark was created and how you keep it going. Ok, this is a project that I started 30 years ago. The word start-up did not exist, I used to call it 'Technology Business'. Why did I do that? Because when I was a student at the Technion the spirit of the Technion told us in many words, you will be so good that when you graduate everybody will want to hire you. And I said, ok, that’s really wonderful. But what if I want to open my own technology business. How do I do that? And the Technion did not teach that. In 1986, I became a full professor and I said, ok, now I can do whatever I want. And in 1987, I started this class - this is 29 years ago. To teach Technological Entrepreneurship, I invented it. I didn’t hear about anything like this in the world, I don’t know if it ever existed at that time. I bring to the class invited speakers, divided into 3 groups, successive entrepreneurs, struggling entrepreneurs and professionals to talk about. I bring a lawyer to talk about what is a limited company and why you should open one. I bring the patent officer of the country to talk about IP. I bring somebody to talk about marketing. I bring somebody to talk about market surveys and so on. I don’t want to go into details. But this is a very successful class. In the first meeting I had 800 students in my class. And the hall was only for 600 students. So it was a smashing success, the largest class in the Technion ever. And it continues year after year for 29 years. So by now, I have very many engineers and scientists in the country. More than 10,000 that took my class and they have the achievement of entrepreneurship embedded in their mind. I don’t claim that I am the father of the start-up nation, but I contributed to that, there is no question about it. Can entrepreneurship be taught? Definitely yes. And if you go around the world and listen to what leaders say, they say innovation, innovation, innovation. And they say that because they do not understand that innovation has been there for generations in universities and research centres. Innovation is not the issue. How do you take the innovation and make it into a product? And that is called Technological Entrepreneurship. And this is why we should teach Technological Entrepreneurship in universities. And even before that. I gave a talk in Aalto, in Finland, a year ago. And the subject was, why we should teach Technological Entrepreneurship in every university in the world. And the meeting was for rectors of European universities. In some countries they got the message and they start to do that now. And before I move on to other panellists, I do want to build on that and ask one other question. Which is, when people think of entrepreneurship they think of success but they’re afraid of failure. How important is it to teach or help students or create an environment that accepts failure. Ok, we don’t lie to the students. We tell them that of 10 start ups 7 will fail, 2 will survive, 1 will do great. These are about the proportions, they know it. But we also deliver a message. And this message is especially important in the Far East and also in Europe, in a way. The message is: "Failure ok. Start again." And statistics show that in the next trial you have a much better chance to succeed because you are an experienced entrepreneur. Yes, you failed but you went through the stages; next time you have a much better chance to success. And this is the message. And in some countries, I give many talks on this subject in many countries, in some countries they want the title of my talk to be ‘Failure ok. Start again’. Brian, a question for you at ANU, how do you think of programming the courses in the university to align with careers or opportunities for students, do you work backwards from industry? Do you try to influence the way industry is headed? How do you think of that? I would say this is a journey we’ve just started on. Industry, really, when you ask the in detail, especially Australian industry, they really think of training, not education. And there’s a big difference between being a training institute and an education institute. The other thing you need to realise is that training is really getting the application at the very end. Depending on what you’re being trained to do, you need to have different levels of education. And in some things you need to be very sophisticated. My university is all about education. And trying to get that sense that industry - actually, my job - to get them to run your banking system or whatever, that’s not my job, that’s your job. I do the public good side. You do the training bit at the end or you have another provider to do it. And they want to get a shortcut. I mean business is all about making money. And they like shortcuts. And I’m not going to be the shortcut for them, that’s not my job. But on the other hand I do need my faculty, my students to understand business. So part of it is teaching the skills that make sense. When they go out as an education point, that it is useful to understand how business and economies and stuff works, even if you are a physicist. But I also think you learn a lot by actually doing. And so I do think there’s a lot to be said of providing internships and things. This is very big in Germany, it’s not so big in the US or Australia. And so I think being able to provide people that chance to go in and just see what they’re learning and how it’s used in action is a useful connection. Because it will help them when you’re trying to work with industry as a physicist within universities, but also help them decide if that’s what they want to do. So we have multilayers there. The other thing I wanted to briefly talk about is, we as universities have a monopoly right now on credentialing or providing degrees. That is actually not yet under threat but it’s going to be. And so I see the whole idea of people going out there and having all of their credentials in some public thing like a block chain as being a real, real opportunity. And that’s suddenly going to bring a bunch of non-university providers out there into the market. Now, the sophisticated business community is going to use that if it gives them better graduates. Already you can see Google and companies saying, actually, I don’t really care about your degree, I want to use my own testing because I don’t think you’re doing a very good job. So it’s really important for us to be adding value. And that’s where we get back to Carl’s technique, where we really do make smarter graduates. But then we also need to buy into that credentialing and giving more than 'you have a degree from ANU in physics'. You’re going to actually have a very sophisticated description of what you did at ANU, I think, in your degrees going forward. So that Google will say, oh, I actually think that looks pretty good. And if I’ve added value, I’ve suddenly become the university of choice. So there’s a lot going on there for us to interface and, again, rapidly changing. I’m playing around with lots of things, because I don’t want to get left behind. And there’s one point I want to pick up again before I move to Carl. Which is, you mentioned that it’s important for your students and for your teachers to understand how industry will use what it is they’re teaching. Yes. Is there an opportunity for the inverse? In other words, is there an opportunity for you to educate Goldman Sachs, or KKR, or some of the big investors, and banks and even industry, on how better to embed science in what they do? Absolutely. And when I have internships, not just students, it can be my postdocs, it can be my professors, who can go there. You just got to have connections and then you understand each other. So I’m not going to go up and lecture Goldman Sachs, that’s exactly, what Carl will tell you, doesn’t work. What I need to do is, actually, get my people there and practice and learn to think in each other’s expert systems. And then people will make the connection. So it’s a matter of embedding us, ourselves, even if artificially initially, to make those connections. That’s where I see the big gains are. And Carl, you and I had an email exchange a little earlier on some of these questions. And you had a fascinating response to a question that I wrongly asked about a shortage of scientists in the labour market. And your response was, well, actually is it quality, quantity; is it about cost versus quality? And it would be great for you to build on that in terms of, is there a shortage of scientists out there? Why are companies looking for science at a lower cost when that could compromise quality and outcomes are all that matter? First I want to make sure people understand I am not making statements about the world. I’m making statements about the United States and the economy and things there. And I mean there’s a lot of debate and has been for a number of years. Do we need more scientists and engineers, basically? And the economists argue back and forth on this. And I think it’s just very hard to tell. The companies are always saying we need more. But if you look, at the - the economists come back and say, look, the effective salary of scientists and engineers is actually going down compared to other people who have to spend that much time in education. So that says they’re not valued, they’re not needed. And so there’s a big debate of essentially whether the US high tech-industry is importing cheap foreign labour, essentially. I mean, we do bring in lots of foreign scientists and engineers, and that’s been a wonderful success. Even a foreign historian once in a while, believe it or not. Yeah, well yeah, but the visas mostly go to scientists. It’s a lot easier to get a visa and a green card. And so that’s just an ongoing debate. And I don’t think there’s any real clear answer there. What is pretty clear, actually, and it’s sort of an interesting different way to think about this, is that when people have looked at the needs for, let’s say, technical literacy, knowing some science, knowing some things about science and engineering in fields that are not considered science and engineering fields, those needs have been going up very clearly and very substantially. So the person who is going into banking or sort of things you wouldn’t think of as technical, they get paid more if they have more science, engineering, maths, backgrounds. And so that’s something everybody, all the economists, can agree. There’s real value there. And those aspects of the workforce that you need, those are very clearly growing a lot. I think that’s just a different way of thinking about it. It’s not so clear we need more scientists and engineers, but we need a lot more people who aren’t labelled as scientists and engineers, but are having many of these basic skills and knowledge. Absolutely, I borrowed a laptop off a friend of mine who is an investor in a purely financial institution. And when I clicked into the browser and saw the bookmarks, they were all hyper-technical scientific. And I was like, you could have benefited from studying science instead of finance. Tamás, turning to you, there’s been so much, at least, public excitement in the last decade around the success of technology companies like Google or Airbnb. There have been phenomenal discoveries in science like gravity waves. You know, these things have made the front page of the news. Do you think it has influenced more researchers or even just more students on aggregate to get excited about careers in science? Absolutely, I think these discoveries are making people to go into science. So it could be like the end of something, but then you discover it is, but it’s also the beginning of the precision of that thing. Like the Higgs discovery. Ok, we discovered the Higgs boson but we need to study the practice of the Higgs boson. So we need new students who go and do the PhD in the practice of the Higgs boson. Again with the gravitational waves. We need to study the gravitational waves more in detail. And I think it’s a very good motivation for the young scientists to go into these topics. And what do you do to encourage your students to stick on with science as a career? Well, with the high school students I also give them the front of the science, these gravitational waves. Actually, there was a student who I gave the article about the gravitational wave discovery. And, well, they understood some part of it, but, anyway, they were motivated by it. Just switching now the subject, just because we have to watch our time: Gender. And how is it that we can - you know Danny was just talking about how boys and girls up to the end of primary school in maths and science, they’re neck to neck. And I have seen studies that say, actually, girls will sometimes outperform the boys, especially in maths, at the end of primary school. But we see this tremendous and horrific drop off afterwards. And again, just to go through the age cohorts. It would be great - you’ve mentioned, Dan, you’ve already mentioned some experiments or some ideas you’d like to implement. Carl, do you want to build on that and think about? It would be great if you could share the theory. But it would be great if you have one to share, perhaps a personal experience, of how you have been able to influence a female scientist to stick on for a PhD, to stick on and pursue a career in science. Ok, it’s a lot easier to talk about my research on this area of what matters and what doesn’t. The realities are, that these are shaped, I mean we worry about what we try and do in departments and with individual courses. But in reality these are really primarily shaped by societal influences, societal perceptions. And for my own work, we find that the most useful is to look at the social psychologists who look at how social values shape a person’s reaction. And as we were coming over on the boat here, I was, it was interesting, surrounded by young women physicists. And they were talking about the issues they had faced. And it’s very clear that, ok, they’re facing all, it’s a hard thing to do, to get a PhD and be successful. And everybody has to work really hard in that. And when you are also faced by keep bumping into these little societal messages of: You really shouldn’t be doing this. You should be off being a housewife, or a teacher, or shouldn’t go into physics. So these are the things that really matter. And it’s how one can counter those kind of messages. Partly the message, and I don't want to talk about the personal things here, but it’s also you need to send the same message in all our courses, and really on a broader university level. but you have to realise that these are not really saying anything about you as a person, you individually as your abilities. That everybody has these concerns, but that everybody faces up to them and gets through it and can be successful." So it’s really that message of you have to think of yourself as what you want to do, what you can be successful in. And sort of not let this background noise against you, that’s clearly changing but it changes slowly, to make too big an impression. I’d like to add a couple of comments on this. There are 2 important bodies that can affect a child to become a scientist, and the most important one is the parents. If the parents convey a message to their child, boy or girl, that they expect him or her to go through the process of learning and go to university in a specific area that they choose, then it has a great effect. A child should know what his parents are expecting of him or her. I can tell you that in my family, my children, my grandchildren, my message was always: you start in the kindergarten, you finish your studies when you finish your PhD and there is nothing to talk about in between. And it worked. Number 2, a very influential entity is television. Now you know why television is called 'medium', because it is neither rare nor is it well done. If we have more science, real science programmes, on television, and some channels in Britain, in other countries do it very well. But in the rest of the world if you open the television arbitrarily, in 5 minutes you think this is very stupid, whatever they do is stupid. We need more guidance and more collaboration with television channels around the world so that they will spread the gospel of science and technology and good education and also humanities, arts and so on. They have an important role. If we could convince them to do that we will achieve a lot. And Brian what do you do at ANU to encourage female role models, senior role models, as researchers, to create an environment that says women can succeed. So again let’s assume that there are no personal biases against women in the university. Even so, what do you do to make sure the environment, which may today as a legacy be predominantly male, what do you do to say, well, that’s not our future? Well, in the end you need to just look at the data and see where things are going. Almost 60% of our biology undergraduates are female now. So it’s actually female biased because women perform much better at undergraduate in Australia, noticeably better than our males. So we have a good pipeline there. Computer science less than 10%. If you look at a successful computer scientist in our department, they all have coded since they were young. The fraction of young women who, you know, girls who code very small, it’s just culture. We have a real problem. Engineering is another pipeline problem. So just having role models is not enough. The head of my engineering is a woman. There’s one other female professor in that department. And those are my only women in that department. So I can start building up, but the reality is I’ve only got 7 to 10% of the undergraduates coming through there. Within the university itself you need to look and say, well, where are the pinch points. So if I look at how my students do in physics, roughly 25% of our incoming students are women. They progress about equally with men through their undergraduate. They matriculate to PhDs at a very similar rate. I don’t lose that many women. And they go into the first level postdoc at about the same level as well. So I’m doing pretty well up to people in the pre-30 years. And that’s actually not just me, the US is very similar. Then I have this terrible place where people get permanent jobs. There’s a huge pinch point there. And the probability of advancing is probably about half for women - I clearly have a problem there. I’m not going to go into why I think that is, but it’s a problem. And so it come down to saying, when you really look at it, I think, it’s fundamental that the career structure is unattractive. And I can work on the little bits and pieces and make my environment good, which is the question you asked me, but the reality is that’s not my problem. So the first thing is to realise, the data is saying that’s not my main problem, it’s secondary. It’s important for me to work at, and yes, I want to do that. But it’s realising where the problem is. And I have ultimately a career structure that is unattractive for a lot of people. So one of my best students that I had - this is an anecdote, but it illustrates the problem. She finished and she came up to me. She apologised and she said, "Brian, you’re going to hate me." And I said, "Why, what’s going on?" She said, "I don’t want to stay in academia. I’m going to go work for the start up, much better career structure." And I said, "Fine by me, I think that’s a success. But it’s a failure for academia because I’ve just had one of my best students say this looks awful to me." I don’t want to go through this. And that happens all the time. And women are preferentially leaving the field. And a lot of men are leaving it as well. So that’s the problem I need to solve. And I’m afraid I can improve my childcare, I can get rid of bullying, I could have mentors and all that stuff, they’re all secondary. And yes, I’m going to do them all. But I've got to fix my big problem, which is giving my young staff a reasonable career structure. Which does not select the people who can stand a bad career structure, which are preferentially men. I have the hardest question for you, Tamás. It says, very impressively, that you are on the supervisory board of the Hungarian Association of Physics Students. How many people on the board, how many are women? What are you going to do to raise the proportion once you go home? I actually was the president for this association for 3 years. And, after the presidency, I came on the supervisory board. Actually, now on the board there are like - the board consists of 5 people of which 2 are women. So I think that’s a good ratio. You survived that one. Now we’re going to move to the next subject on emerging markets, just so we can turn over and provide some time for the students to ask questions. But this is an all-male panel, and I do hope that a lot of the questions we get are from women. And I hope that some of those questions are challenging some of the statements made up here by the guys on the stage. I do hope to see some of that. Our last section is going to be, or subject is going to be on emerging markets. And I guess my first question on emerging markets - and I’ll leave it open to the panel as to who wants to pick it up. Which is, in emerging markets, when we look at the discrepancy of research coming out, the number of scientists, is it just the money or is it something else? In other words, if we pumped more money into the tertiary systems in, pick a country, China, South Africa, Nigeria, would that fix the problem or do we have a deeper rooted issue which may be cultural, related to creativity, related to expectations? From my perspective you can look at China as a great example: exponential growth within research and development. There is a hysteresis, right, it takes 25 years, you just can’t say here’s a bunch of professors. You have to train them and they take time and they learn. It’s an expert system and it takes tens of thousands of hours of work to become great. So emerging markets, initially, have pioneers who typically get out and train in other places. For example ANU, my university, was founded in 1946 to become the first research university of Australia. And we were the first place to offer PhDs. Our job was to create the pioneers who went out and populated the rest of Australia, and we did that. And actually not just us - Indonesia and the areas around us. So the problem my university faces is: we’ve done that. And now we have a bunch of competition and our university hasn’t quite figured out what its reason to exist is next. So I actually think it’s just a matter of countries getting to the point where they’re prepared to have a long enough vision to say, we need to invest in our human capital. And you have to have stability of government. You have to have governance. You need to have fiscal places to do that. You've got to have a 20-year horizon. It’s got to be a 20-year building process in an emerging market to do that. China is doing that, and China is going to be a major player from here on out. They haven’t caught up, but the amount they’re spending right now, they will - it’s just a matter of time. And that’s what emerging markets have to do. But it comes down to the fundamentals of the country, and the stability of those countries, that I think you need to really get things to take off Dan, Carl, do you have any thoughts on that? How do we get Africa and the rest of Asia and Latin America up the curve? I’ll just agree with what Brian said. I think he summarised everything I know about it. Since you mentioned Africa, I want to mention something about Africa. There is a lot of Chinese money flowing now to Africa, because they buy all the natural resources in Africa. And Africa now has the chance, maybe the single chance, to really develop and develop fast. If they invest well in education and in science, if they can form good government policies towards education and science, if they can beat corruption, then they have a wonderful chance now to really exponentially grow in science and education. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, maybe, for Africa to really do it, to really do it well. And the time is now. I would like to ask the panellists to each give a 1 minute closing statement before we turn over to the questions from the audience. And this could be a summarisation of the message you’ve already shared. But if you had to say, look, this is the one thing that I would say, or I would want to improve, to give to the world of education and the science, what would it be? Carl, let’s start with you. Just to repeat the same old message I keep giving: as we’ve seen now, there are much better ways, much more effective ways, to do in higher education. They don’t cost any more money and it’s just a question of adopting them. And unlike all of these other issues we have talked about, which are hard, complicated, we don’t quite know what to do, this is one place that is just straightforward. You just do it and it works. I didn’t understand the question, can you repeat it for me. Just a closing statement, a 1 minute closing statement, that if you had to say one thing to the audience about what the most important thing is to do now in education and the sciences, what is it? It could be a repeat of something you said, but just 30 seconds, 1 minute, and then we move on to Q&A. Ok, number 1: select the teachers in a better way than it is done now. Number 2, compensate them properly, so that in each and every country the profession of teaching will have a good prestige. And that young people, talented young people, will be able to provide for their families with one salary of a teacher. This is rare, but this is what we should do. This is number 1. Number 2, governments should pay attention to the development of human ingenuity. And they should bring partners like television channels to the game to promote it. These are the 2 things that I think are most important now. Obviously what Carl and Danny said, but also to realise that, in the end, you need, if you’re going to do what we were saying over here, you need leadership. And as I said in my leadership session, everyone is a leader. So you need to go through and make the change start happening, demand that it happens. Ask questions, ask why is it that we’re not doing what the data says? That’s how you show leadership. And people here have been selected to be leaders, so be leaders. I would say that this mentoring system should be wider in the world. So, learn at home a lot and go to the mentor and ask them. Now before we do Q&A, a very short thing. I want you to turn to the person next to you and I want you to quickly chat about something you have learned and the question you want to ask the most. Just, it helps you to get to know your neighbour, let’s do that for 60 seconds. And then we’re going to turn to Q&A. So just turn to the person next to you and say, hey, that’s the best thing I learned. And this is the question I want to ask. Ok, are we ready to go with questions? I take it from all the chatter that there’s a lot that we’ve learned. And there are a lot of questions that are going to get asked. Because we’re in Germany, we’re going to keep this on time. So we have 28 minutes on the clock for questions. I will request – you know, people who are asking questions to actually ask questions as opposed to making statements. But, with that, go for it. So please, there are a couple of mics and I think you’ve got to come up to the mic to ask a question. The mic doesn’t go to you. We haven’t figured the physics for that yet. The mics are in the aisles, there is one up front here, there is one back there. My name is Aftab Hussain. I am from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, KAUST for short in Saudi Arabia. So I have a question to Dan, but before that a quick comment to Karan. When you borrow your friend’s laptop you don’t look at the browser history, that’s a scientific fact. Sir, I wanted to ask you, I am a father of a 3-year-old child. Like any other child he basically plays with everything, like football and Lego and cars and whatever else - and mobile phones these days. And for a 3- or 4-year-old child, I think for me it’s very hard to determine what he really likes to do. Like would his aptitude be more in science or arts or history or athletics or whatever else. For instance, if I send him to something like a science kindergarten, would I be stifling his career, potential career, as a world leading athlete? Can you repeat the question for me? The question is if you send a kid to a science school, maybe they’d be happier, or better, going into literature or music or art and so. Or becoming a sportsman. Are you inhibiting them? Absolutely, the soft teaching of arts and poetry and novel writing and music and so on gives taste to our lives. But engineering and science gives us life. And we are here, engineers and scientists, this is why we discuss it here. In another conference that you may attend they will talk about literature and music and jewellery making and so on. And that is fine too. Dan is obviously not biased at all by his career, so he’s speaking objectively. Brian. Here in Germany they have a programme called 'Little scientists' which is making sure that kindergarteners do get a science degree. I personally believe it should be universal. That every kindergarten should have a good science but it should also have good English and good arts. Because that’s part of being human. So my view is you should have universality. And it comes down to having good teachers, good systems, where we make sure everyone gets a good science degree. Not just those whose parents think they should. Carl, did you have something to add to that. Just the reality is you’re right. I mean you know those kind of decisions, like any other decision you make as a parent, constrain or open up different sets of opportunities for your child. And can cut off others. And that’s just a choice, that’s what makes it hard being a parent, right. Let’s go to the cool guy wearing sun glasses in the back. Hello. My name is Michael Finch, I’m from the US. Albert Einstein’s name has been dropped quite a few times during the meetings this week. Does anybody know that he’s actually, well, they believed him to have a learning disability. So on the lines of the gender research that you all seem to know a lot about: Has anybody, is there any research pertaining to folks with learning disabilities or disabilities in general? I know a little bit of statistics of the US. Generally, in the US around 10 to 20% of the population has a disability. However, only less than 2% of those folks actually graduate with a PhD. So I think there’s also a big gap in that. And in general, from the language I’ve heard in the past, they categorise women, learning disability folk or disability in general, and even racial minorities in the US, as underrepresented minority groups. So I was just curious on what your thoughts are on that, thank you. You know, you raised what is an important issue. You are right, they’re under represented. They do face special challenges, and that’s a place where we’re still learning. I mean, we don’t have the answers. There are in particular types of disabilities, people are finding much more effective ways to teach the students. And, essentially, you know make those disabilities so they’re not disabilities. But this is far from universal and it continues to be an active and much needed area of research that we don’t have many answers on yet. If I could be honest, universities are appallingly bad at dealing with disability of all sorts. Probably our worst, if I had to say the place where we perform the worst, that’s it. And again we don’t even really know how to do it very well, so it’s a learning activity. And I’m sensitive to it but I’ll be honest, it’s one thing that I don’t quite yet know how to deal with. A really thoughtful and great question and it’s something for our panellists to take home to their universities and their research. So let’s move to the front mic. Hi. I’m Julietta Griscow from the US. I wanted to ask if you could speak a bit to graduate teaching, and particularly graduate teaching for experimentalists. It seems to me that theoretical physics has kind of pinned down what skills they’re interested in teaching students. And evaluating in graduate students the idea of solving multipart problems, things like that. It’s less clear to me that experimental physicists know how to teach the skills that are important in being a good physicist. Or that we know how to evaluate them, or that we even know how to describe what they are. So if any of you have kind of done any thinking on that, I was curious if you could speak to it. So what makes a good physicist other than a sense of humour? I don’t know, I have a scar from the Millikan oil drop experiment right here. I never forgot to remind myself that your lab partner needs to know not to plug in the high voltage between the plates when you’re holding it. I learned a very valuable lesson and nearly died because of it. So I’m not sure that I completely agree with you. I think there’s a huge number of skills. Of course, when you look at your education you get at the PhD level, theorists seem to dominate it. You do a lot of classes that are theory based. And then you do a couple afterthought things, Bayesian analysis or something, usually taught to you by a theorist as well. But again, on-the-job training, you go out and if you’re an astronomer, we send you out to a telescope, usually with supervision the first couple of times. Then on your own, and you sort of learn that way. So when you get into the PhD it really is this expert learning mode. And I defer to Carl whether or not we understand, you know its hands-on right now and you get in and do it. That seems to be a pretty effective way of learning. It’s very expensive but is there any way of doing better, I don’t know. I should clarify, I’m mostly curious about things like qualifying exams and kind of the early graduate career. Of how do you decide that someone has the correct skills to move forward in a PhD, when we don’t know how to test those skills without putting someone in a lab, I guess. You’re right, right now that’s almost entirely based on being in a lab. You can go do a search and turn up a few papers that I’ve written recently actually on the cognitive skills of experimental science. There are some research groups, including my own, actually thinking of how we can assess those skills in a more meaningful way. Right now it’s entirely based on the kind of apprenticeship model - Being in the lab, directing with the instructor. And it’s only after you get into that and find out, this wasn’t for me. And so that’s a little bit of a problem. And the real answer to that, which a lot of universities, and you’re from the US - it’s really becoming more and more common and almost dominant, that students get, as undergraduates, any real opportunity to work on real research problems within labs. And so that they can even in that environment get some sense of their own – I would say what matters most, their own sense of satisfaction, threshold of frustration etc. But then also some evaluation of maybe that’s not the right direction for them to be going. And that’s really the best we have now, but it’s a fairly effective system. We should refer to Carl’s paper, I wish I had. The story of my career has largely been: it wasn’t for me. Let’s go to the back mic. Hi, my name is Sara. I’m from Georgia and now Germany. My question concerns outreach and specifically the rising niche of youtube videos. I wonder if any of you collaborated with one of the youtubers. And what do you think in general about this format of short videos, 3 up to 10 minutes? And if you think that one is really nice and it can give possibilities to people who maybe don’t have inspiring teachers at school to actually get inspired and be very interested in science. Or you think that maybe these 3 to 10 minutes videos give a false hope that people become experts after 10 minutes. And then they don’t actually learn anything. So what is your stand on that? Danny, you’ve dabbled in youth. Can you repeat the question? The question is that there are these youtube videos being posted now. They are very short, 3, 5, 8, 10 minutes. And I - let me see if I’ve got the question right. And the question is, are these videos useful or are they giving people the false impression of knowledge and expertise? Ok, I have 2 comments on that. Number 1, everything that directs the public towards science, and even as a hint within a short time, is blessed. It’s very good. Number 2, there are many MOOCs now which are classes that are given by the best universities and the best professors. And these are wonderful programmes that everybody can take and it’s for free unless you want to get some certificate. Then you have to pay for it. The problem with the MOOCs is that people start with a lot of enthusiasm and they quit, they quit after a while. The solution to that, by the way is quite interesting: if you form groups of studies by the MOOCs, then everybody continues and they don’t quit in the middle of the way. So learning individually, on your own, from the internet doesn’t continue as it should. And if you form a group you make a little class. Then you are related to your friends in the class and you can explain to each other and foster the understanding of each other. And then it works very, very well. So yes, internet, different kinds of classes but also socialise, make a group to do it together. With the permission of the panel, just because there are so many students who want to ask questions, we could move forward. Unless Brian, you are burning to add something to that. Well, I was just going to say that: useful but not sufficient. That is it doesn’t replace education. It’s a useful thing, we should support it. But it’s not the same as a full learning activity. Let’s go to the front mic. Hello, I’m Mary, originally from Israel and now in the UK. So a slightly more general question. Critical thinking and reasoning skills are useful not just in science education. They make the key ingredient for a successful democratic society. Do you have any ideas how to teach high-quality reasoning skills to the general populations? Who wants to take that? I have just written a paper on it, like many other things. I mean, we have just written a paper on it, preceding this international gathering. Very quickly, though, the first thing you have to recognise is, when we talk about, critical reasoning skills, people don’t actually have critical reasoning skills. They have crucial reasoning skills within narrow segments. And they are not very good at actually transferring those over, which frankly is what we need for sort of broad society. You need to be looking at claims politicians are making and applying the same sort of test of evidence. So that really involves people having to get critically thinking across a variety of areas. And many of these areas aren’t going to be scientific - it’s just a reality. But in the work that I’m talking about, we did show that you really can have people learn this. Where I talk about critical thinking, specifically in science, of evaluating data and evaluating the claims and models based on that data when there’s some degree of uncertainty. And the bottom line is that we have a bunch of data showing that traditional ways, traditional instruction labs, are really bad at teaching this. The key element that we’ve put in, that seems to be important to work, is first there has to be a decision-making process. You have to put the learner - that’s ultimately what matters in critical thinking, how you make a decision about things. And so you put them in a position of having to make a decision. But also having a chance to iterate multiple times and making a decision, reconsider, trying something else and then having to think about whether the decision was right etc. Great. Let’s go to the back mic. My name is Sebastian Zell and I’m from Germany. My question is in particular to Brian. I am very glad that you mentioned the bad career structure in science. And I’d be interested in what would be your potential idealised vision of improving that? Well, the first thing is being honest with graduates, that, if you look at Danny, when he finished his PhD he knew he had about two thirds chance of staying in academia. When I finished it was about 30%, and you guys are all 5%. That’s the ratio of PhDs we’re creating versus the positions available. So you need to know that. You should not be sold this idea that you are a failure if you don’t go into academia. Because 95% of you are not going to go into academia. And I’m sorry to tell you that, if that’s a surprise it’s the reality, just do the numbers. This is a fairly select group, Brian. I will say your probability is higher than 5%, but it aint two thirds. From my perspective, given that I need to create a career structure where I give people multiple paths out, that’s the internships being able to bounce in and out of university. But it’s also within my academic career structure making decisions early on for people. And essentially having, since we have McKinsey here, it’s an up-and-out strategy. McKinsey, if you go work for McKinsey you’ll understand that, which is you either succeed or we move you on, rather than hanging people on indefinitely and essentially preying on their desperation and then ultimately cutting them off well past when they should be. And that’s also bad because every person in university cost resources and things. You end up, as a university, spreading your resources too thinly and then abandoning people when they’re 40. When they could have gone off and developed their skills to do something else. From my perspective, it’s making very clear signals and saying, we have a 5-year period where it’s postdocs just go off and do it. And then making a decision and saying these are the people I’m going to keep in my university. And I’m going to give them enough resources to do great things. And not saying I’m going to have a bob, as we would say, each way on 7 people. And then whoever is left after 20 years of soft money is who I am going to keep. Because that selects a certain type of person and probably not what I want, and I underresource everyone. I wouldn’t be discouraged by Brian’s comment, because the 95% that wouldn't go into academia will pick up stock options in a start-up and be very successful one day. And then give back to Lindau Nobel - that’s how it works. Or to the ANU. Good afternoon, I’m Ryan from India. So recently I noted that a lot of educationists, perhaps most notably Eric Mazur, have been toying with the idea of the inverted classroom. Where the student studies the material initially at his room or something and then goes and solves problems in the class. So I was wondering if this is an effective strategy that leads to better learning, or can this ever be a replacement for the more conventional classroom methods that we have today? So can the student learn in their own room, being question one? Can I go first, then maybe you follow. So Eric invited me and I was one of the people who assessed his learning outcomes at Harvard last year. It was really quite interesting. And they had quite a general class go out and do quite a sophisticated learning exercise of creating an imaging spectrograph with groups of 6 or 7. And I was impressed what this people had to do. But I was also impressed by the incredible amount of effort that Harvard put into supporting this activity. And, you know, I was told, ah, it’s not that many people. And I think I counted 22 people helping with the process for a 90 person class. Now, that great, but even Harvard can’t do that for every class. It’s an incredibly effective way, I think, of doing specific things. But I don’t think you’re going to be able to do it in every class every time. So I was very impressed with what I saw. But I don’t think you can do everything there. And I think it’s good for certain types of learning, but it’s not clear to me you can do everything that way either. I think there’s a misunderstanding here, actually. I think what you’re talking about is the technique and peer instruction and so on that Eric was doing a number of years ago. Brian is actually talking about what Eric is doing now, which is a rather different approach. I think this general idea of active learning, that students aren’t just getting simple information transfer, they’re really thinking and getting feedback in the classroom, that’s clearly better and that was what my talk was about. You can go look at my slides. It sort of goes through the details and references on that. The theme of Carl’s speech is, just go read my research, you don’t even need to meet me. The basic concept is good, but it’s a little different than what Brian is actually talking about where Eric has gone off on this really massive labour intensive - Just to clarify, my question was Eric using the classroom primarily for solving problems rather than delivering content. So that’s what he did in this case. But there is a whole bunch of other stuff. Let’s take a few more questions. Hello, my name is Winifred from Ghana. So this question is directed to Danny specifically. Because you really got me thinking about in a society of high rates of corruption, and in my stance of not really having much influence. So how do I as a young woman contribute in my own special way to the development of my country. And also you got me thinking about, now in my state, I have younger ones coming up. So how do I help to change the way things are seen in my site of origin? That’s my question. How can she in a very corrupt country, where there are very few systems to support her, how can she effect change and inspire others? Ok, well everybody can contribute to changes. I know it is very difficult in some countries, but if you become a teacher, you may be a professor, university teacher and you affect your close environment, this will be your contribution. Otherwise go to politics and make an effect there and try to overcome corruption. This is good advice, go into politics? (Laughter) Ok, young man in the front, you’re the last question of the day so make it count because you’re what stands between everybody here and lunch. Hello, I am Julian from Munich. And the picture, most of my friends who are not into physics or maths, is basically that physics and maths is you take the right equation and you solve it. And I think the reason for this is because that in high school we are - this is how we mostly are introduced into these subjects. So there are equations and we have to use them. But teachers don’t explain where they are coming from. What are the reasons for these? And I think that puts most of the people away from maths and physics very, very, very early and very quickly, in high school already. But the challenge that I see is for teachers to tackle this. To really, I mean, you cannot do a university education in high school, right, but you can at least give a hint that there are underlying reasons for this. But to give the right hints, I think, you need exceptional insight. And so my question is, do you think this is even possible to get teachers like this? I mean, they won’t be all like little Richard Feynmans, right. So I think it’s very difficult to do this, it’s one of the most difficult things. It looks like everyone wants to take it, Carl, go read your paper. Go read my paper. This is, actually, something my research group has done quite a bit of study on. And a growing aspect of physics education research is sort of the student’s attitudes about physics, and how you go about learning physics. And I will say it doesn’t take tremendous insight. It just takes a clear understanding of what’s shaping these views and properly addressing them. And 2 very quick and simple things are that the instructor has to put some meat, instead of dealing with introducing it all as formalisms and these artificial massless, frictionless systems. They better put it in a real context. And the formalism comes in to solve real problems that someone might care about. But then the other aspect that we’ve seen turns out to be very important, is being much more explicit about the process of science, in particular physics, and how it’s a process of developing models based on evidence. And then using those models and continue to test and as they fail, as you find in situations where they fail, how we have to introduce new models. That actually has a big impact on those very specific student attitudes that you talked about. And then there’s other things about testing and grading that come in that can also be important. I know you want to answer but there’s a young lady who stuck it out by the mic despite my saying it’s the last question. So should we accommodate her? Thank you. Carolyn Parcheta, JPL, from the USA. My question is for all of you but mostly for Carl. At least from what I’ve heard you say. You know what he is going to say, it’s read his paper. I know but I’d like to hear it from him directly. I have yet to hear you acknowledge that there are different learning styles. And so I’m curious if your research shows this dramatic increase in those who learn best by doing and teaching. But actually a decrease in comprehension by those who learn best through writing. Ok, I have not written a paper or done research on this. There has been a lot of research done on learning styles. And basically, the research says the idea of learning styles is an erroneous myth, widely held but quite incorrect. That there is no style by which it makes a particular person learn better or more effectively. There are very often personal preferences, but when people test them it’s just not, doesn’t work. Can you list a reference for that? Yes. The time has come to close this panel, I can see there’s still life in us. It’s time for the picnic. But before we head out for the picnic I would like to thank the Bernadotte family for hosting us in this magnificent place. I would like to thank the Lindau Nobel Foundation for creating this unique forum. And I would like to thank the esteemed panellists who have shared their wisdom and humour and knowledge with us today. Thank you all, thank you.

Closing Panel Discussion (2016)

The Future of Education in Sciences; Panelists Brian Schmidt, Dan Shechtman, Tamás Vámi, Carl Wieman; Moderator Karan Khemka

Closing Panel Discussion (2016)

The Future of Education in Sciences; Panelists Brian Schmidt, Dan Shechtman, Tamás Vámi, Carl Wieman; Moderator Karan Khemka

Abstract

Enrolment in the natural sciences is booming in some emerging markets, an exemplary example of which is Ghana where enrolment in sciences versus the humanities increased nearly 10% between 2010-2014. In stark contrast, participation in the sciences continues to decline in Western countries; for example in the largest Western education system, the United States, only 16% of high school students are proficient in math and just half of those actually pursue a career related to science. This is happening as reliance on scientific innovation is pervasive in every facet of society and urgent breakthroughs are required (e.g., even the antibiotics of last resort have failed recently with no new solutions in sight).

How can we stimulate interest in studying science where it is lacking in the globe? Can the “maker movement” or other new teaching methodologies drive interest in studying the natural sciences? How can we rapidly scale education in natural sciences in emerging markets where resources are scarce but interest is burgeoning; are MOOCs the answer? Even in these thriving emerging markets, female enrolment in sciences lags behind – the proportion of women pursuing science in higher education is a mere 28% in China – another untapped source of potential. This panel will discuss solutions and innovations to increase the quantity and quality of “The Future Of Education In The Sciences”.

Content User Level

Beginner  Intermediate  Advanced 

Cite


Specify width: px

Share

COPYRIGHT

Content User Level

Beginner  Intermediate  Advanced 

Cite


Specify width: px

Share

COPYRIGHT


Related Content