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An interesting idea… from Newt Gengrich?

In January 2006 Discover magazine changed ownership to be owned by Bob Guccione Jr. The change in content was immediate. Now a large percentage of the content is human interest stories about how a scientist felt about their research instead of abou ttheir research, tongue-in-cheek articles like the fight between Fahrenheit and Celcius, and a list of 20-things you didn’t know about X which is actually more like 15 because some of them are split into two to pad the list.

Anyway, they still manage to have good things from time to time (not good enough to subscribe anymore) but an interview with Newt Gengrich they ran in the October 2006 issue is one of the highlights of the past year. I didn’t know that he was a strong supported of sciences and probably would have ended up in a science related field had he not gone the history/politics route. After his time in congress he went to universities for a few years to catch up on what he had missed in science while he was in congress.

I thought the most interesting point of the interview was his suggestion that we pay kids to take math and science classes. I’ve heard pay schemes for kids before but this one sounded better to me because the kids would only get the payout if they got a B or better. The idea being that instead of kids spending time after school in a minimum-wage job, they can earn the same minimum wage and put the time to studying. I can see a few problems with it, especially as fights begin as to what is worth paying for, but the idea has potential I think.

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