How expert do you need to be?

lenticular clouds and churchYou probably like music, art, and food – all without being a musician, an artist, or a chef. If you are one or more of those things, great!

But, you don’t need to be an expert to appreciate listening to music, taking in art, or eating a great meal, right?

Most people feel science is only for scientists – but it’s not. That’s what I explain to a couple of teens I’m teaching science to. My underlying idea is you don’t have to be, or want to be, a scientist to appreciate science. Nonscientists can be captured by, and understand, most of the key concepts from science without needing numbers and formulas.

Look at this old church in a vineyard with a weird looking cloud above it. It’s cool.

If you know a bit about genetics you’ll have a greater appreciation of how the grape vines were developed and also you might recognize the weird cloud isn’t a UFO but a “lenticular” cloud that forms in the right conditions of moist air and shearing wind. Now the scene is cooler.

Understanding science even a little bit just adds another layer of appreciation and wonder to things and activities people enjoy, like music or a shooting star. And this is true for things and activities people don’t enjoy, like mosquitos or the flu.