We all saw it coming. Icy road conditions, subzero temperatures and dangerous wind chills were predicted for the start of the week. By Monday, it was clear that travel the next day would be difficult at best. By 9 p.m., every primary and secondary school and some colleges in the Omaha area had canceled school for Tuesday, and many daycares shut down in anticipation of dangerous road conditions.
A couple of weeks ago someone asked me why I think studying science is so important. I began to answer their question with my usual answer, "It teaches people to think critically and to solve problems." However, as I thought about it, I realized that was not a good reason to learn anything. It is a beneficial outcome of learning science, but not the reason why people should want to begin studying it.