Monday, 20 October 2014


Approaching high tide?

From a report by Paul Etchels in the Guardian newspaper this week, on a survey by Paul Howard-Jones of Oxford University and on publication of a book for non-brain scientists, by Christian Jarrett. Inter alia, Mr Etchels comments –

...a global epidemic of neurononsense... an ongoing issue is that neuroscientific counter-evidence to dodgy brain claims are difficult to access for non-specialists... inadequate communication between neuroscientists, educators and policymakers...

Often, crucial information appears in quite a complex form in specialist neuroscientific journals, and often behind an exorbitant paywall... neuromyths have largely been left unchallenged in the education system... Wouldn’t it be great if Nature Reviews Neuroscience dropped the paywall for this article, and sent it to as many teachers and schools as possible?

New for you

Mr Etchels also passes on an item of very welcome news –

Nature Reviews Neuroscience, who have lifted the paywall on the neuromyths article - you just need to register (for free).

Would that more journals could manage such pro bono gestures. Yes, of course it is a bind to fill in the registration form but the few minutes of time that it takes should pay enormous dividends in immunising agains foolish assumptions.

By the way, do no think from this and other things on this topic in Conductive World that I am against neuroscience and neuropsychology as such, on the contrary (but that is another story). What I rail against is the misuse of partial knowledge that, however understandable its reasons, can only harm the cause of Conductive Education.

And the sad thing is that Conductive Education does not need it. It could look elsewhere for its validation.

If you would like to read more around this topic, you can find Christan Jarrert's book at:

Mr Jarrett is a young lion of present British psychology., someone to watch.


Etchels, P, (2014) Brain baloney has no place in the classroom, Guardian, 17 October

Howard-Jones, P. A. (2014) Neuroscience and education: myths and messages, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, doi:10.1038/nrn3817, 15 October

Jarrett, C. (2014) Great Myths of the Brain, London, Wiley Blackwell

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