THE FOREWORD by Georges CHARPAK

I have known Nicole Ostrowsky for many years. We both share the same passion, that of making science accessible to youngsters and of kindling or awakening their curiosity through “hands-on experiments”.

While going through this Agenda, I was struck by the variety and richness of this journey across the sciences. Every day of the year young ‘apprentices’ can experiment with simple objects to understand the wonders that surround them: from those they see in the sky to the surprises they come across in daily life. They can observe the changing nature of the universe, and learn to juggle with the subtle art of scholarly reasoning.

When, for example, the apprentice reads "all men are mortals, Socrates is a mortal, and therefore Socrates is a man” the task for the day is to think up some other similarly absurd syllogism! The apprentice thus has to act like a scientist who tries to identify the loopholes in poorly constructed logic.

The Agenda even gives examples that show how man can sometimes make mistakes and even try to fool other people.

Adults with or without a scientific background will also find a multitude of examples and tools in this agenda to encourage them to broaden their understanding. The book’s hands-on approach will prepare them for the exalting task of teaching science, and bring them the joy of helping young people discover the world that continues to surprise us every day.

Paris, September 2008

Georges Charpak

1992 Nobel Prize in Physics


the Agenda of the Apprentice Scientist

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