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Science and Technology Writing

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Richard Kreinbring

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of Science and Technology Writing

Science and Technology Writing
Get out your WNB please.
You have ten minutes to respond to this prompt. Please provide support for your position.
You need your writer's notebook.
Take a look at the writing you did yesterday.
We're going to do an interrupted read of an essay by Loren Eiseley.
Go ahead, write his name down.
"The Method of Scientific Investigation"
The Bird and the Machine
Yup, that's it. Go ahead and write that down.
How are the two entities in the title linked?
What does the juxtaposition create?
Comparison? Opposition?
What difference does it make to your expectations for the essay?
Prompt Three:
Find places where Eiseley uses phrases like: "make no mistake," "they say now," "you know," "nothing to get superstitious about," "I guess," "don't deny," and "I'll admit,". (Hint: look in para, 3 and 4)
How do these help create the tone? How would you describe that tone?

Homework. Yay!
In your WNB discuss how Eiseley uses pathos, logos and ethos to create a bridge between the humanities and science.
What is Science?

Yup, that's it. Go ahead and write.
Turn and talk.
Here's your first section:
Respond in your WNB to these Big Picture Questions for the first 7 paragraphs:

What's this essay going to be about?
How does Eiseley use time and reflection?
Write down his main idea.
What's going to happen?
What's going on with these birds?
Now let's read the beginning.
Chalk Talk
Get in your groups and pick a color. Write your name in that color. Also use this time to talk about the Big Picture Questions for last night-remember there's no talking during a Chalk Talk.
Prompt One:
First, find and mark the imagery and the exposition in that first paragraph.
What's the effect of putting those elements in that order?
Keep this technique in mind when you reread the essay.

Prompt Five:
What arguing move do you see dominating paragraphs 4-7? Label it where you see it.
How effective was this for you as the reader? How would you have done it differently?
Prompt Four:
Why does Eiseley directly address his audience in paragraph 4?
Prompt Two:
In paragraph one Eiseley mentions "odd juxtapositions." Look at the first 7 paragraphs. Find and mark a couple of them. What's their effect? What's odd about them?
Okay, now you have some time to visit, react to and steal your classmates' ideas.
Finish the essay tonight. Take what ever notes you'll need to do a chalk talk tomorrow.
Tomorrow we'll talk bout your answers and the rest of the essay.
Central Question:
How are advances in science and technology affecting the way we define our humanity?
Now look at the rest of the essay.

Look at Eiseley's verbs in paragraph 20. What's the effect? How would you characterize them?

Discuss the irony in para. 24
What's the tense shift in 31? How does that move work? (hint: Look at 30 first.)
Now look back to your WNB assignment from last night? Are you going to stick with this assertion?
Find radiolab on tumblr.
Follow it and reblog and write about one thing that made you go Hmmm.
WNB-What is the "scientific method?"
The method of scientific investigation is nothing but the expression of the necessary mode of working of the human mind. It is simply the mode at which all phenomena are reasoned about, rendered precise and exact. There is no more difference, but there is just the same kind of difference, between the mental operations of a man of science and those of an ordinary person, as there is between the operations and methods of a baker or of a butcher weighing out his goods in common scales, and the operations of a chemist in performing a difficult and complex analysis by means of his balance and finely graduated weights. It is not that the action of the scales in the one case, and the balance in the other, differ in the principles of their construction or manner of working; but the beam of one is set on an infinitely finer axis than the other, and of course turns by the addition of a much smaller weight.

You will understand this better, perhaps, if I give you some familiar example. You have all heard it repeated, I dare say, that men of science work by means of induction and deduction, and that by the help of these operations, they, in a sort of sense, wring from Nature certain other things, which are called natural laws, and causes, and that out of these, by some cunning skill of their own, they build up hypotheses and theories. And it is imagined by many, that the operations of the common mind can be by no means compared with these processes, and that they have to be acquired by a sort of special apprenticeship to the craft. To hear all these large words, you would think that the mind of a man of science must be constituted differently from that of his fellow men; but if you will not be frightened by terms, you will discover that you are quite wrong, and that all these terrible apparatus 87 are being used by yourselves every day and every hour of your lives.

There is a well-known incident in one of Moliere's plays,88 where the author makes the hero express unbounded delight on being told that he had been talking prose during the whole of his life. In the same way, I trust, that you will take comfort, and be delighted with yourselves, on the discovery that you have been acting on the principles of inductive and deductive philosophy during the same period. Probably there is not one here who has not in the course of the day had occasion to set in motion a complex train of reasoning, of the very same kind, though differing of course in degree, as that which a scientific man goes through in tracing the causes of natural phenomena.
Okay, lets look at the opening.
Huxley is saying something about Reason in para. 2 and 3. What is it and what are the implications of it?
Finish the essay. Love it up and keep these things in mind:
What're induction and deduction?
How does syllogism work?
Nature and Belief? Howzat work?
Yeah a Harkness is indeed in your future.

What's Huxley's major claim the these 3 paragraphs?
Write it down and provide proof.

1. Just like our boy Eiseley, Huxley busts out a direct address in para. 2. What's the effect of that?

2. Who's this Moliere dude in paragraph 3? What does this reference say about who Huxley thinks his audience is?

3. Look at para. 8. Is Huxley trying to be funny? How does that move effect his ethos? Can he be a funny science guy?

4. Look at the "worthy friend" parts of paragraphs 10 and 11. What's the effect of this? Does it remind you of Swift in any way, hmmm?

5. How well does Huxley support his last argument?

6. Paragraph 12, "supposititious case", what does Huxley mean?

Harkness Questions
Yes, this a quiz.

Next Question:
What do you think about what Huxley suggests about the relationship between knowledge and belief?

I. Huxley makes a claim in the first sentence. Where in the first few paragraphs does he support it?
II. What's Huxley's main "move" in the first 6 paragraphs? How does he use it?
III. What's Huxley's move in paragraph 12? He made a similar one in the first 6 (see question 2). How effective is it?
All Groups Discuss These:
Here's our procedure:
You need to be in 6 groups.
Once you see the questions, respond in your WNB for 5 minutes.
Talk it out with one or more members taking notes.
Come to consensus.
Describe how you came that consensus.
Tonight transfer the last two items to our shared google doc.

Do the question assigned to your group number:

Question the First:
What important implication does ole' Huxley make in the paragraphs 2 and 3? More important, what conclusions can you draw from this?
Final Question:
How would you, could you apply Huxley's ideas to the study of science here at our beloved AHS.
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
Hey look this poem is a single sentence? What kind of sentence is this? What's the effect of this syntax?
Look here! These have something in common.

What is it? What's the effect?
sitting, rising, gliding
What does the speaker say about science and nature? How does he remind you of Huxley or Eisley?
What would Whitman think of Huxley or Eisley?

How would you describe the speaker's attitude toward science? Is it like Poe's?

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise?
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
Poe seems to making a move by using figurative language. Find it and discuss why he'd do that. What's the effect?

According to the speaker, what has Science done for him or the world?
Hey this sounds like an Ode. I best look that up.
Hmm, as Odes go this one is a little funky.
Is it, you know, laudatory or does it criticize?
pick a side then find specific language that supports your choice.
Hey Friends, today we're going to apply what we know about prose to a different form-poetry.
Full transcript