Sciencific chapbooks– a proposal

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Discussion by: titania

Consider the tracts often distributed by religious groups. They have been extrodinarily successfull in their aims. Then, if that is the case, could it not be possibe to disseminate simple pieces of  scientific education, as it were , in this format?.     In effect, what I am proposing are extremely digested works of popular science, around 30 or so pages .Each chapbook should be dedicated to a single subect, or question. and be written for a more mature audience, of persons who have had at least a modicum of scientific education. ( There are great quantities of books like this for children already)

  Obviously, the nature of these books and their audience restricts the range of subjects that may be covered. For example, it would be unreasonable for such a book to explain the niceties of particle phsyics within 32 pages. Rather, it would be more reasonable for simpler subjects to be covered, preferably in the form of questions.

Granted, that there are a great quantity of books that already fufill these aims. However, the system that I propose has several advantages:

1- the compact nature , and hence, reduced price of these books may allow them to be more easily distributed

2- their short length would be less intimidating to readers, and more easily digested.

3 – The books serve as a bridge between the overly simplistic works of children's science, and book-length works of popular science, which are inaccessable , due to reasons above.

4- that these books are accessable for those who do not have access to the internet.

There are obviously many obstacles to the publishing of such books, but I belive that they may be of great use to society. Opinion?

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. The advantage the religion people have in distributing their comic books:

    1. they have huge teams of volunteers who feel obligated to buy and distribute them.
    2. they are full of lurid stories. It could be hard to make science as gripping.

    More and more people are putting out YouTube videos on a variety of topics. We need indexes to them, indexed by various keywords, tracking ratings, tracking bust and multiple sources for them. One feature is a permanent link to a YouTube that will automatically track its new URL if it is withdrawn and reposted under a different name.
    The index might include Lane Craigs stuff with lists of suggested counter materials.

    • In reply to #1 by Roedy:
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      2- they are full of lurid stories. It could be hard to make science as gripping.

      With regards to the second point, if the science cannot be made exciting, it would be better to make it practical. Curiosity can also be exploited to this end. For example, under what circumstances may a rainbow be found? . How may eclipses be predicted? etc.

      Granted, there is a great amount of information on the internet on these matters, but, in the “small book and pamphlet” area, there seems to be no competition,against the religious side. Furthermore, there still seems to be a bias concerning information found online, and such there would still be a place for such small works of literature.

  2. There is a reason that religion is successful, and that reason is fear. The muslim religion asserts that anyone who tries to drop the religion or adopt a new religion must be beheaded. The other religions rely on a less aggressive stance but none-the-less instill fear into those who want to leave, social repercussions, family pressure, etc etc. The reason science cannot replace religion or become as successful is because most people cannot understand or have not been educated to understand the basics of science which is to make logical conclusions of observed phenomena. Most people feel science can only be done by an elite of highly educated nuclear physicists and mathematicians etc

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