Anthropomorphism in Science Songs

Presented by
Richard Heineman, Kutztown University
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About

Anthropomorphism is impactful, and metaphors that draw on its power are widely used in science. For example, when DNA is described as the instruction manual for a cell, this implies a reader. However, anthropomorphism may reinforce misunderstandings that students are already inclined towards; for example, when we discuss a molecule or cell like a person with goals, we misrepresent what is actually a hardwired set of rules as a series of choices. As an educator who writes songs that rely heavily on anthropomorphism, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the approach, how to maximize its benefits, and how to minimize its costs.

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