Wednesday, September 19, 2012

“For Kids”

[please note: this is a sea lion,
not a seal, but she is a kid]

Yesterday as I was looking through science-news headlines I saw one titled “For Kids: Seal Science.”

Wait a minute! I thought. I want to learn about seal science, too! Why is all the cool stuff always for kids?

I admit that that’s a generalization. Thanks in part to the internet and social media, there’s a lot more popular science out there directed at all audiences—which is great. And yet so often anything to do with animals (think zoos, among other things) is presented as being only of interest to—or the exclusive purview of—children.

I think this is a shame, since it makes adults who get excited about animals feel childish and embarrassed—or the science itself never gets on their radar because it’s targeted at kids.

Have you noticed this too?

What about science’s presentation to popular audiences bothers you?

[P.S. Check yesterday’s post's comments for the answer to the mystery-animal game!]

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


Noel said...

YES I DO! So well stated. Every fall my friends and I go to a pumpkin patch/farm outside of the city. I love getting to go on the hayride, feeding the goats, and getting fudge ... but when I tell people what I'm doing that day, I always feel like I have to explain myself.

BTW, thank you for your LOVELY blog comment! Seeing your name brought a smile to my face! I hope all is well. :)

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

Thanks for the note, Noel! (I'm a frequent follower of your blog, btw--I just don't comment enough!)

Yes--why are some pleasures or interests deemed childish while others (like playing Wii or other games) are considered acceptable adult activities?

Good Ol' Ant (why does my apostrophe sometimes show up wrong?) said...

Science is for children because then we grow up into wise adults who know that evolution and climate-change are just liberal myths to scare children with, like the boogieman (or "bogeyman," if you play golf, I guess).

pattinase (abbott) said...

When I am at the zoo, the adults seem just as excited as the kids. Perhaps more so.

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

@Good Ol' Ant: Yes, right! Only children are callow enough to believe the research.
@Patti: I agree--but more pop-sci should take advantage of that interest rather than pretending that only kids can be excited by animals.

squirrel said...

Oh I totally agree! It drives me insane when I go to something like a bat program and they give the bats to the kids to release. Heck I want to hold that bat too and let it go! That kid has a life time to let bats and butterflies go and I am almost retired and don't have much more time for someone to hand me a bat to release! It just ain't fair!

Thanks for brining up the subject and letting me add my two cents. I love your photos and words.

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