Why you SHOULD respond to student requests
I agree with this guy. Even though I doubt the educational value of teachers asking kids to send these things out, I always try to reply.
by Shane L. Larson
To my colleagues in professional science:
There has been a tremendous and acerbic backlash over the last week against a current popular practice of K-12 students emailing professional scientists with a list of questions they would like the scientists to comment on. I too have received these emails, and I have to very clearly state (in case you haven’t already been in one of these debates with me) that I have an unpopular view on this issue: I vehemently reject the view that we cannot respond to these emails. It is part of our professional obligation to society to respond to these notes.
In the spirit of intellectual debate, which is the purported hallmark of our discipline, let me recount some of the many aspects of the arguments that have been swirling around.
The Scenario. Emails will sail into our inboxes from (usually) middle-school science students…
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