Monday, March 10, 2014


Are you all watching the new Cosmos series? It's on Sunday nights on Fox (not public television! surprising!) and so far I think it's great. At first glance there aren't many references to psychological science concepts, but I think it might be an opportunity to make a couple non-obvious connections for students who are excited by the series:

  • in the first episode (March 9), a good chunk of the program was devoted to Giordano Bruno, a 16th century Italian friar who was persecuted for what the church at the time saw as heretical beliefs about the organization of the universe. This dramatic presentation (great animation!) could be a jumping off point for a discussion about conformity and obedience, and specifically how scientific thinking might relate to social psychology pressures. 
  • The narrator, (the great Neil Degrasse Tyson) talks passionately about the history of science and how remarkable it is that in only 400 years, humans progressed from Galileo looking through the first telescope to humans walking on the moon. Student might be interested in discussing how the science of psychology fits in this "arc" of scientific progress, and how young psychology is as a science relative to physics and astronomy.

posted by Rob McEntarffer

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