What Can Be Done To Stop the Decline?

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Science  01 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5731, pp. 51
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5731.51b

Donald Kennedy's Editorial “Twilight for the Enlightenment?” (8 Apr., p. 165) is an articulate summary of one of the most frightening aspects of “progress” in America. I find this epoch in U.S. history quite discouraging, quite frightening, and indicative of a decline and fall of American science and culture. But what is missing in so many summaries is the question, what is to be done?

In my work on K-12 education, I know how easy it is to argue the failure of public education to prepare graduates for life and advocacy in the 21st century. Perhaps the political challenge illustrated by the Editorial and the education challenge that I have been working on can be joined. I suggest assembling CEOs of companies such as Intel, IBM, Motorola, and Microsoft; selected university presidents; scientists; and educators, i.e., those whose profit and joy rest upon rationality, to coherently press for the required dramatic revision of U.S. education.

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