“In the beginning, we are born scientists. When we are born, we ask ourselves what is going on outside, we ask about the sun, life, the stars, about the oceans, the weather. We are born scientists, and then it passes. What we have are the dangerous years. The dangerous years of elementary school and high school. That moment is when they crush everything.
Einstein says, “each flower of curiosity is crushed by the society itself.” Because they taught us to learn all these facts and numbers by heart, we think that memorization is science. And it’s not true at all.
My daughter had to take an exam at one point, and she had to memorize all the facts and numbers about minerals and crystals for a geology exam. In no way did I see that they mentioned the true driving force of geology, which is the displacement of continents. That is the organizing principle of geology. And yet the exam was about the memorization of all the names of crystals and minerals.
And later she came and asked me, “Daddy, why would anyone be interested in becoming a scientist?” That was the most humiliating moment of my entire life. I thought of taking that book and tearing it into pieces, because that exam was crushing, crushing curiosity, directly from the next generation.
And then we ask ourselves, “hey, why is it that people are no longer interested in science?” Duh!”
Source: Michio Kaku