The Danger of Being Scolds

While we are talking about new points of view for 2018:

A man I am honored to call a friend, Dr. Bill Hooke, posted an essay where he noted that, when the conversation turns to climate, meteorologists turn into "scolds." I highly recommend the essay, which you will find here. The conversion to scolds certainly occurred with President Trump's recent climate tweet. That attitude gets us nowhere.

We meteorologists also need to be careful, when conveying storm safety rules not to do it in a scolding way.

Finally, should not scold when we are suggesting to children how important it is to do well in school, especially in the STEM fields.

All across America, students are anxiously finishing their “What I Want To Be …” college application essays, advised to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) by pundits and parents who insist that’s the only way to become workforce ready.  But two recent studies of workplace success contradict the conventional wisdom about “hard skills.” Surprisingly, this research comes from the company most identified with the STEM-only approach: Google...

Project Aristotle shows that the best teams at Google exhibit a range of soft skills: equality, generosity, curiosity toward the ideas of your teammates, empathy, and emotional intelligence. And topping the list: emotional safety. No bullying. To succeed, each and every team member must feel confident speaking up and making mistakes. They must know they are being heard.

I would be the last person arguing against a STEM education. It is what made me highly successful in my field. The danger is that the college curricula in meteorology (and, perhaps, other STEM fields) is too narrow.


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