In this interview with Dr. David Helfand (astrophysicist, author, professor, former President of Quest University), we discuss his book, A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age. As the conversation continues, we eventually focus on how to actually teach in ways that help students learn and construct knowledge through the design of intentional but exploratory and student-centered learning.
David J. Helfand, a faculty member at Columbia University for forty years, has served nearly half of that time as Chair of the Department of Astronomy. He is the author of nearly 200 scientific publications and has mentored 22 PhD students, but most of his pedagogical efforts have been aimed at teaching science to non-science majors. He instituted the first change in Columbia’s Core Curriculum in 50 years by introducing science to all first-year students. In 2005, he joined an effort to create Canada’s first independent, non-profit, secular university, Quest University Canada where served as President & Vice-Chancellor from 2008-2015. He also recently completed a four-year term as President of the American Astronomical Society. His first book, “A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age” appeared last year.