Posted by: gordon | May 27, 2008

Science Writing (Dinosaur Hunting)

A dinosaur

When I was five years old, I loved dinosaurs. I think it was a healthy obsession. In grade school, when all the other children dreamed of being firefighters, policemen and baseball players, I had my heart set on paleontology.

My dinosaurs always won the battles they fought with the G.I. Joes, and when they were feeling particularly cheeky, they even piloted pirate ships and stormed castles.

Dinosaurs were something that captured my imagination, but today (in addition to being totally awesome) they are a symbol of excitement and wonder for me.

I believe that there is a dinosaur in every science story, and in good science writing the dinosaur comes alive.*

I do believe that science is very relevant to politics, society and the meaning of life, but it is also exciting, terrifying and fascinating.

People should learn about science because it is interesting, not because it is their civic duty as members of a democratic society.

And that is why I became a dinosaur hunter.

*When dinosaurs come to life, I don’t think that they will eat most everyone like in Jurassic Park. I would prefer to think of them more like Bob the dinosaur from Dilbert, so bringing dinosaurs to life is less life threatening and more entertaining.

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