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.
Megan Powell Cuzzolino is a doctoral student studying human development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on how children and adults develop epistemological understandings of science and its relationship to religion and other ways of knowing, as well as the implications of these understandings for formal and informal science education. She belongs to the Causal Cognition in a Complex World research team under the direction of Professor Tina Grotzer at Harvard’s 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 spent a year as a Science Education Analyst at the National Science Foundation. Megan holds an A.B. from Harvard University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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.
If we can ask questions in the way first-graders do, we can break down so many of the barriers and false dichotomies in the world today.