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The Tragedy of the Unexamined Cat: Why K–12 and University Education Are Still in the Dark Ages and How Citizen Science Allows for a Renaissance


"At the end of the dark ages, anatomy was taught as though everything that could be known was known. Scholars learned about what had been discovered rather than how to make discoveries. This was true even though the body (and the rest of biology) was very poorly understood. The renaissance eventually brought a revolution in how scholars (and graduate students) were trained and worked. This revolution never occurred in K12 or university education such that we now teach young students in much the way that scholars were taught in the dark ages, we teach them what is already known rather than the process of knowing. Citizen science offers a way to change K12 and university education and, in doing so, complete the renaissance. Here we offer an example of such an approach and call for change in the way students are taught science, change that is more possible than it has ever been and is, nonetheless, five hundred years delayed."