The Edge Annual Question — 2007
As an activity, as a state of mind, science is fundamentally optimistic. Science figures out how things work and thus can make them work better. Much of the news is either good news or news that can be made good, thanks to ever deepening knowledge and ever more efficient and powerful tools and techniques. Science, on its frontiers, poses more and ever better questions, ever better put.
What are you optimistic about? Why? Surprise us!
Of the 157 responses, the following are related to education/learning:
HOWARD GARDNER (Psychologist, Harvard University; Author, Five Minds for the Future): Early Detection of Learning Disabilities or Difficulties
KEITH DEVLIN (Mathematician; Executive Director, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford; Author, The Millennium Problems): We Will Finally Get Mathematics Education Right
JAMSHED BHARUCHA (Professor of Psychology, Provost, Senior Vice President, Tufts University): The Globalization Of Higher Education
DAVID DALRYMPLE (Student, MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms; Researcher, Internet 0, Fab Lab Thinner Clients for South Africa, Conformal Computing): Technology in Education
CHRIS ANDERSON (Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine; Author, The Long Tail): Metcalfe's Law of Minds
LEON LEDERMAN (Physicist and Nobel Laureate; Director Emeritus, Fermilab; Coauthor, The God Particle): The Coming Revolution in Science Education>
and the following that may be somehow linked to education/learning:
DANIEL EVERETT (Researcher of Pirahã Culture; Chair of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures, Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology, Illinois State University): Humans Will Learn to Learn From Diversity
ROGER SCHANK (Psychologist & Computer Scientist; Engines for Education Inc.; Author, Making Minds Less Well Educated than Our Own): The End of the Commoditization of Knowledge
REBECCA GOLDSTEIN (Philosopher, Harvard University; Author, Betraying Spinoza):We Have the Capacity to Understand One Another
TERRENCE SEJNOWSKI (Computational Neuroscientist, Salk Institute, Coauthor, The Computational Brain): A Breakthrough in Understanding Intelligence is around the Corner
GARY MARCUS (Psychologist, New York University; Author, The Birth of the Mind): Metacognition For Kids
Since the original question is asking "WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT?", the answer is inclined to be speculative. However, the number 6 out of 157 does indicate the "mind-share" of this non-representative group about the importance (or lack of) of education/learning.