One of the most powerful ways to bridge ideological barriers is to remind people that there is so much we don’t know about the world.
Megan Powell Cuzzolino, EdD is a researcher and educator who received her doctorate in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2019. Her primary research focus is on the emotion of awe and its role in scientific learning and discovery, and she has taught courses on public engagement with science, cognition and instruction, and qualitative research methods. As a doctoral student, she belonged to the Causal Cognition in a Complex World research team under the direction of Professor Tina Grotzer at Project Zero.
Previously, Megan was a science teacher at an independent K-8 school in the DC area, where the fascinating questions from her inquisitive young students served as the inspiration for her present research focus. She also served as a Science Education Analyst at the National Science Foundation. Megan holds an A.B. in Psychology from Harvard University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Science progresses only through scientists, who are indeed human beings – and perhaps one key to unlocking their excitement is a sense of awe.
When we look up at the vastness of the universe, does that make us feel very small, or does it make us feel connected to something so much larger?
How we can teach so many of the complicated nuances of genetics to laypeople, clergy, students, and others who may be new to the big debates?
Scientists and science communicators often believe that hearts and minds could be changed about complex scientific issues if only the public had access to more, and better, information. Yet evidence indicates that this is not the case.
How would our religious perspective change if we discovered life on other planets?
Why are some sources of authority more alluring than others?
What do seeing oneself as a part of nature and seeing oneself as part of a massive demonstration have in common?
Can religion — as a source of creative meaning — “inoculate” us against the fears that naturally arise?
We shouldn’t stop consulting traditional world maps, with their borders and demarcations. But we could probably all benefit from a glance at the Pale Blue Dot map, too.