Innocent Experiments: Childhood and the Culture of Popular Science in the United States (Studies in United States Culture)

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9781469629469: Innocent Experiments: Childhood and the Culture of Popular Science in the United States (Studies in United States Culture)
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From the 1950s to the digital age, Americans have pushed their children to live science-minded lives, cementing scientific discovery and youthful curiosity as inseparable ideals. In this multifaceted work, historian Rebecca Onion examines the rise of informal children's science education in the twentieth century, from the proliferation of home chemistry sets after World War I to the century-long boom in child-centered science museums. Onion looks at how the United States has increasingly focused its energies over the last century into producing young scientists outside of the classroom. She shows that although Americans profess to believe that success in the sciences is synonymous with good citizenship, this idea is deeply complicated in an era when scientific data is hotly contested and many Americans have a conflicted view of science itself.

These contradictions, Onion explains, can be understood by examining the histories of popular science and the development of ideas about American childhood. She shows how the idealized concept of "science" has moved through the public consciousness and how the drive to make child scientists has deeply influenced American culture.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Onion is a visiting scholar of history at Ohio University and staff writer at Slate.com.

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We applaud the smartphones and space exploration that spring from scientific research yet continue to reject scientific conclusions because of political and religious ideologies. Rebecca Onion dissects such contradictions, offering a fascinating perspective on how we use science to help shape children's lives and our own.--Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette, author of Science on American Television
In this fascinating book, Rebecca Onion connects the histories of science, education, and childhood in dazzling and original ways. Innocent Experiments will change the way we think about gender and popular science.--Matthew Pratt Guterl, author of Seeing Race and coauthor of Hotel Life

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Book Description The University of North Carolina Press, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. From the 1950s to the digital age, Americans have pushed their childrento live science-minded lives, cementing scientific discovery and youthfulcuriosity as inseparable ideals. In this multifaceted work, historian RebeccaOnion examines the rise of informal children's science education in thetwentieth century, from the proliferation of home chemistry sets after WorldWar I to the century-long boom in child-centred science museums. Onionlooks at how the United States has increasingly focused its energies over thelast century into producing young scientists outside of the classroom. Sheshows that although Americans profess to believe that success in the sciencesis synonymous with good citizenship, this idea is deeply complicated inan era when scientific data is hotly contested and many Americans have aconflicted view of science itself.These contradictions, Onion explains, can be understood by examiningconnections between the histories of popular science and the developmentof ideas about American childhood. She shows how the idealised concept of"science" has moved through the public consciousness and how the drive tomake child scientists has deeply influenced American culture. Seller Inventory # TNP9781469629469

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Book Description The University of North Carolina Press, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. From the 1950s to the digital age, Americans have pushed their childrento live science-minded lives, cementing scientific discovery and youthfulcuriosity as inseparable ideals. In this multifaceted work, historian RebeccaOnion examines the rise of informal children's science education in thetwentieth century, from the proliferation of home chemistry sets after WorldWar I to the century-long boom in child-centred science museums. Onionlooks at how the United States has increasingly focused its energies over thelast century into producing young scientists outside of the classroom. Sheshows that although Americans profess to believe that success in the sciencesis synonymous with good citizenship, this idea is deeply complicated inan era when scientific data is hotly contested and many Americans have aconflicted view of science itself.These contradictions, Onion explains, can be understood by examiningconnections between the histories of popular science and the developmentof ideas about American childhood. She shows how the idealised concept of"science" has moved through the public consciousness and how the drive tomake child scientists has deeply influenced American culture. Seller Inventory # APC9781469629469

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